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The Philanthropic Development Toolbox for the Academic Library

By: , Posted on: October 25, 2016


The chapters on cases for giving and how traditional philanthropic tools are leveraged in the academic library is really the meat of this book. We tried to bring as many assets as we could to each chapter utilizing literature from library and philanthropy scholarship and rounding out the discussion with our own perspective. Part of the value of the section in many ways is the organization, itself. By structuring it the way we did, we forced ourselves to drill down into simple concepts around what was possible in terms of cases, for example, and the best opportunities for applying the various philanthropic tools.

In our discussion about cases for giving we definitely hit on the favorites like archives and collections. However, we look into all facets of the library to identify many that the typical higher education fundraiser would never think of but which we believe have real potential. In many cases, this is about introducing fundraisers to gems they never knew existed in the library.

Development officers are trained to be aware and have a certain level of expertise about the various tools that donors use to make gifts. We discuss the academic library from these various positions hitting on everything from major gifts to planned gifts to corporate and foundation giving to crowdfunding. We hope this helps the reader see how and why the library should be included in all efforts within central development and not merely the focus of the lone library development officer. The academic library is fertile for collaborations between development professionals and central campaigns.

The academic library has the potential for high performance in fundraising if understood and then positioned properly and in a compelling way to donors, and our main audience is the development officer working in higher education. However, we also hope that the book serves information professionals and library leaders by helping them understand the perspective of the development officer and the opportunities in their library that truly have potential for private funding. We intended to help bridge the two professions, and we hope that, on some level, we have provided knowledge and insight to assist with that effort.

About the Blog Series:

This is the third of a three-blog series about successful fundraising for the academic library. Our first blog, The Academic Library – An Exciting and Natural Environment for Fundraising, introduces the section of the book that discusses the challenge at hand and reviews previous scholarship on the topic as well as anecdotal discussion about the culture in the library. Our second blog, Numerous and Powerful Cases for Giving in the Academic Library, talks about how we invited our colleagues to participate in the discussion of the many cases for giving in the academic library.

About the Authors:

kathryn-dilworthKathryn Dilworth is the Director of Advancement for Purdue Libraries and the University Press. She has more than 10 years of fundraising experience in libraries, healthcare, conservation, museums and other nonprofit organizations. Her library experience includes public relations and marketing for a large public library system, international marketing for a library vendor, serving as a librarian in a community college library, and leading the fundraising efforts for a n academic library. She has a BA and MA in English and is currently a Ph.D. student in Philanthropic Studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

laura-sloop-henzlLaura Sloop Henzl is the Director of Foundation Relations for the Purdue University College of Engineering with the Purdue Research Foundation. She has more than 17 years of experience in marketing, communication, and freelance writing, with more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, managing relationships with foundations, corporations, and individual donors, and event planning in higher education. Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications (Media Studies) with a minor in Journalism from Manchester University, and is currently enrolled in the University Graduate School with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

You can visit the authors’ Facebook page here.

About the Book:

The authors’ book, Successful Fundraising for the Academic Library: Philanthropy in Higher Education, focuses on fundraising in the academic library. Although it is becoming more common for the library to have its own development officer, it is often a combination role where a fundraiser splits time between two or more units or an entire development team is given responsibility to raise funds for the library. These factors as well as the absence of traditional alumni as a prospect base, make this environment challenging in the field of higher education development.


Beginning with a review of existing scholarship on the topic, the authors discuss specific cases for giving and how to utilize the traditional funding tools in this unique environment. These discussions include examples from academic libraries across North America as well as sample dialogues between development and libraries professionals to illustrate the different perspectives.

This book is for the higher education fundraiser new to the library and for library professionals interested in learning more about the professional side of development.

Successful Fundraising for the Academic Library: Philanthropy in Higher Education is scheduled to publish on October 15, 2016. If you would like to pre-order your copy at 30% off the list price, visit the Elsevier Store. Apply discount code STC215 at checkout to receive your 30% off and free shipping!

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