The team at AboveWater Public Relations and Marketing is proud of our success increasing awareness, funds, and members for Friends of the Library of Collier County. Most important was to ensure that the non-profit achieved a return on their investment in marketing dollars. It was no easy task to prove our need to “spend” money to make more money on behalf of this not-for-profit that has been in existence since 1955. As old and established as the organization was, no one knew about Friends of the Library other than the board, existing members and library staff. AboveWater launched an awareness campaign that included the following communications vehicles:

Full-page ads in magazines and newspapers
Radio and television advertising
8-foot banners hung outside of library entrances
Full-color rack brochure
Editorial coverage in local press
A regular column in the local newspaper
Countertop posters at check-out
Floor mats at all entrances
Website revisions and news updates
Social media
Newsletter E-blasts
Special events

Two years later, fundraising has increased by 30 percent. Annual membership has doubled from 1,500 members to 3,000 who automatically renew their annual membership fees.  Higher level of giving have increased allowing the not-for-profit library support organization to provide computers in all 10 library branches, $100,000 annually to purchase books and new technology to bring reading to young adults, and other ongoing support.

Community members are more aware of the non-profit as evidenced by the increased number of people who are taking advantage of the free programs sponsored by the Friends. Philanthropists are contacting the organization to donate auction items, underwrite programs, and establish endowment funds—all wonderful words to hear when you are in the business of fundraising.

AboveWater’s campaign also boosted ticket sales for special events hosted by the Friends, such as the Nick Linn celebrity author speaker series and an annual casino night fundraiser that was a lackluster gathering of the board members and their friends only and held at a local parish hall.

The most recent “Red, White, and Roulette” was held at the Waldorf Astoria with a $100 per person ticket price, attracting 300 supporters.

The campaign spent $80,000 annually in print and broadcast advertising to establish the awareness. Before placing any advertising, measurability systems were put in place anticipating the need to streamline the non-profit’s marketing costs long-term.  AboveWater implemented tools to help the library maintaining a level of awareness for Friends of the Library of Collier County through a regular column in the Naples Daily News, a monthly e-newsletter, Facebook posts, and minimal advertising for events in the local newspapers.