With generous support from Jack Buncher Foundation, “Love Your Library” campaign raises more than $1 million for Allegheny County Libraries
The Allegheny County Library Association and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announced today that during September’s “Love Your Library” campaign, the 46 library systems in Allegheny County reached a fundraising milestone, raising more than $1 million charitable contributions. Of this amount, $706,169 was eligible for a prorated match from Jack Buncher Foundation, which provided $156,944 in matching contributions.
Donations and matching funds will be used to fund essential library services, improve facilities and offer educational programs for children and adults. Many libraries used the “Love Your Library” campaign to kick off year-end giving, the time when many nonprofits receive the largest number of their donations.
Now it its fourth year, the campaign attracted 7,138 donors, a 25% increase over last year. Eighteen percent of the donors were new to supporters. Additional “anonymous” donors supported the campaign by donating to change jars, book sales and other grassroots efforts spearheaded by energized staff and volunteers.
“Libraries are an important component to making communities more livable,” states Bernita Buncher, Chair of the Jack Buncher Foundation. “According to researcher Patrick Flavin, Ph.D., associate professor of political science in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, ‘libraries play a critical role in the happiness of Americans. Communities that spend more on libraries, parks and highways are shown to support the well-being of its community members.’”
Miss Buncher further noted, “Each year participation in and donations to the Love Your Library campaign increases and this points overwhelmingly to fact that our Pittsburgh communities all recognize the significance of their neighborhood library.”
Since its inception, the Love Your Library campaign has raised more than $3.1 million for Allegheny County libraries. This special drive coincides with the American Library Association’s National Library Card Sign-Up Month.
“We are so grateful for all the people who stepped up to support their libraries, said Mary Frances Cooper, President and Director, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. “By supporting this important initiative, library donors are making a real difference in our community, helping our libraries to provide life-changing programs that spark learning, creativity and exploration.”
“Now more than ever, residents are finding a new love for our county’s community libraries,” said Marilyn Jenkins executive director for the Allegheny County Library Association. “Today, our libraries are thriving local institutions that offer invaluable services in education and community enhancement.”
Although libraries traditionally have received public funds to support basic operations, state funding for libraries has been reduced or remained flat for much of the past decade. Local funding for libraries in Allegheny County varies greatly from one municipality to another. Libraries reported that the Love Your Library campaign continues to reinforce the importance of library services in our community and the need for support. For some libraries, this was a major step towards a new or improved fundraising effort. Many libraries have increased their efforts to raise funds from individuals, corporations and foundations, relying more on such philanthropic support to fund essential library services, improve facilities and offer new programs.