Chairman’s Annual Report
Our Annual Meeting is a day when Friends’ takes stock, reflects on the year past and enjoys the fruits of its labor. Looking back the library has had to accept budget cuts that affected not only operations and acquisitions but staffing as well. We’ve witnessed a difficult reorganization take place… yet the library has survived with grace, trimmer but able-bodied, still flexible and forward thinking.
Friends sympathized with what was happening and worked to not so much change course as affect it. And, indeed we did. We stepped up our fundraising efforts to the extent that 2010 was the highest grossing fundraising year to-date bringing in over $90,000 for the year. Looking back at the Friends’ agenda in late 2009, early 2010, I observed some major shifts occurring with our volunteer group, our technology advances and fundraising efforts—all of which combined to change our dynamic and allowed us to reach greater heights.
Our volunteers have been extraordinary, not only in their time and effort but in the professionalism and expertise they brought to Friends. Our goals were met by a group of vigorous, creative and professional women and men whose commitment to the library is most inspiring and honorable. It’s impossible to list all the actions implemented by this group, or to estimate the untold hours each volunteer contributes to maintain, and move forward, the Friends’ agenda. Yet, I’d like to recognize a small sampling that follows. I congratulate our volunteers for…
- …spear-heading our involvement in April’s Green Fair, the Summer Reading Program kick-off in June, the summer plantings for the library’s courtyard and planning activities for Bottle Hill Day while all along recruiting volunteers for our mailings.
- …managing hospitality maneuvers for the Annual Benefit in March, and the Volunteer/Staff luncheon in May, which presented our supporters with another glittering affair all attendees thoroughly enjoyed.
- …public relations efforts that kept Friends, and the library, front and center in the minds of the community, sponsors and donors throughout the year but most profoundly affected Touch a Truck’s attendance.
- …our volunteer’s diligent and comprehensive recording of our board meetings. Otherwise, there would be little history of the planning and organization that goes into our work and successes.
- …our volunteers maintenance of Friends’ accounting records which is crucial in that it reminds us of our cost/profit ratios and how well our fundraising efforts are going. Our number-crunching volunteers also look into the use of technology to ease the processing of our online donations.
- …having an organized, pro-active mind on board to help us reorganize and manage our volunteer program. This effort will allow us to provide better support to our various committees and enrich our community outreach agenda.
Through technology we’ve introduced …
- GiftWorks–Volunteers have been incredibly thorough, creative and diligent in building a database program that permits us to track our donations, volunteers, donors, mailings, mailing lists, and merge/export/import with other programs we work with.
- Website –Friends has worked tirelessly to construct and launch a new website. Thankfully, another volunteer has come on board to help keep this, and Constant Contact, our e-marketing tool, current.
- In March our Annual Benefit/cocktail party was the largest grossing benefit to date bringing in over $10,000. The popular, delicious appetizers and drinks helped to make the night a huge success.
- Friends’ organization and maintenance of the Drew Mini-course series, along with Drew University’s ongoing support, is remarkable for its steady, high-grossing revenues and community participation. Total profits to the library for the 2009-2010 year were $29,419—a 24% increase over the previous year.
- Last, but certainly not least, was Touch a Truck 2010. What an extraordinary event—not only for its fundraising achievements but for the camaraderie, imagination and genuine commitment of the Friends to the library and work at hand. Our ability to be effective throughout the months of planning is testament to our love of the library and appreciation for each other’s unique talents. In partnership with the Madison Rotary, Drew University, the Madison Area YMCA and a stream of event-day volunteers, every member of the committee worked many hours to make the event a revenue winner. Due to our group’s resourcefulness, ingenuity, fundraising experience, and event-planning leadership, Touch a Truck 2010 became our most successful fundraiser grossing nearly $34,000.
Thank you all. It has been my great pleasure to work with so many terrific men and women these last two years. Thank you for your trust in me to lead the group and serve in the library’s, and Friends’, best interests. I look forward to an exciting year ahead.
Chair, Friends of the Madison Public Library
January 10, 2011