In these tough budget times it has become increasingly important to secure donations in order to make our summer reading programs a success for our patrons. My library has been lucky enough, through our library cooperative, to have secured county-wide donations from the following organizations:
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Natural History Museum
San Diego Air & Space Museum
These organizations provide free passes to patrons who register and/or complete the program.
I've also had success approaching large, franchised corporations at the local level such as...
who donate free food coupons (always a huge hit with kids and teens).
Ralphs grocery store, Chipotle Fresh Mexican, and several mom and pop bakeries have donated food for various events over the years.
Remember these tips when making donation requests:
- Start early! Many national corporations have donation deadlines and caps and the early bird gets the worm.
- Even if a company can't afford to donate something for each of your participants they may still be able to donate something that you could use for a one-time event or as a special grand prize.
- Check the company's website first to see if they have a donation request form. This can save you a lot of time and phone tag.
- Form letters are timesavers, but a personal phone call is usually more effective.