Public Libraries in the United States: Overview & Insights on Library Foundations (Wilmington Trust)

February 2013

KEYWORDS: endowments, foundations, library, strategic risk, Institutional Investors, asset allocation


Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA

  • Wilmington Trust

Public libraries have evolved into organizations that provide expanded services to the local community. They go beyond just books and often act as an anchor in the community, providing a full array of educational and social services. As local budget cuts continue to loom, public libraries need to broaden their revenue sources beyond local government support and build robust fundraising plans. Library fundraising foundations are an important tool for public libraries, and they should be focused on a diversified fundraising plan that also includes strategies around major gifts, planned giving, legacy societies, and a strategic technology plan. Government grants at the state and federal level are also an important source of funds.

Related Research and Data