The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system recently kicked off its fundraising efforts for the upcoming year, led for the first time ever by the newly created Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.
The foundation was created in an effort to combine all of the fundraising for the library system into one destination, and recently received a $175,000 challenge gift to get the ball rolling. The library system hopes to raise another $175,000 by the end of this year and $1 million by the end of this fiscal year.
“We want the community to respond. Every year in the fall we do an annual appeal,” said Jenni Gaisbauer, executive director of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation. “… We really are trying to get those who support the library energized by the library.”
Bank of America donated $100,000 of the challenge gift, $50,000 came from board members and library trustees and the Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library council donated $25,000. In addition to the challenge gift, the Charlotte Bobcats donated $20,000 to the library foundation.
“The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library connects people and the power of learning to allow our community and economy to grow and meet the ever-changing demands of a modern, global society,” Charles Bowman, North Carolina and Charlotte market president for Bank of America, said in a news release. “We’re pleased to support the programs that provide these connections and help individuals enrich their lives and brighten their futures.”
All of the money raised will help fund the more than 50,000 programs held at branches throughout the system, including the Matthews and Mint Hill libraries. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is not currently planning any new branches or other capital projects. As part of the fundraising efforts, Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is hosting book sales throughout the community and at branches throughout the library system.
“The Friends Council is holding pop-up book sales throughout the community,” Gaisbauer said. “… Basically, they have a pot of books and go somewhere for four hours and do these pop-up book sales.”
All of the foundation’s efforts will culminate with the inaugural fall fundraising event in 2014, which Gaisbauer plans to make an annual event to raise awareness and create excitement for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and all it does for the community.
“It will be a big evening where we bring in five New York Times best-selling authors,” she said. “It will be a big dinner, and they will have an opportunity to sell their books and speak.”
The foundation has raised $450,000 so far, nearly halfway to this year’s goal.
Find more information about the foundation at www.foundation.cml ibrary.org; and about programs and events hosted at local libraries at www.cmlibrary.org.
The Matthews Library is located at 230 Matthews Station St., and the Mint Hill Library is located at 6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.