Study finds adequate private supportA fund-raising feasibility study report conducted this summer concluded that there is “clear evidence” of philanthropic support to fund approximately half of the proposed Lakefront Library project in Hudson.
By: By Brenda Bredahl, Hudson Star-Observer
A fund-raising feasibility study report conducted this summer concluded that there is “clear evidence” of philanthropic support to fund approximately half of the proposed Lakefront Library project in Hudson.
Currie, Ferner, Scarpetta & DeVries, a Minneapolis-based firm that provides counsel for fund-raising, institutional advancement and capital campaigns, completed the study, which was commissioned by the Hudson Area Library Foundation. The firm interviewed 14 individuals and nine corporate and foundation representatives.
“We hoped for an encouraging report based on the history of successful projects in the Hudson area funded by philanthropy,” said Jeff Zais, treasurer of the library foundation, a nonprofit organization chartered to raise funds for capital improvements for the Hudson Area Joint Library.
“It is a very positive sign that a credible firm with years of experience with major donors verifies what the Hudson Area Library Foundation thinks is possible and what the voters have supported by their strong advisory vote for the project last April.”
In the April referendum, 70 percent of voters in the four municipalities served by the joint library gave their support to a proposed plan to relocate the Hudson Area Joint Library at 911 Fourth St. to the former Nuclear Management Co. building at 700 First St.
A second referendum on Nov. 4 in the village of North Hudson, city of Hudson and towns of Hudson and St. Joseph will ask the voters to authorize the municipalities’ part in funding $5 million of the estimated $10.5 million project cost. The remaining portion of the project cost will be sought privately from individuals, foundations and corporations, according to the library foundation.
The report authors concluded that there is a strong potential for success of a capital campaign to pay for more than half of the project cost: “The key foundations that tend to support leading nonprofit organizations in the St. Croix Valley are willing to consider supporting a campaign for the Hudson Area Joint Library and, hopefully, at levels they have provided for other community libraries (e.g., Stillwater).”
Volunteer board members on the library foundation are encouraged by the report. “The biggest surprise in the report was how strongly several of the key foundations and individuals felt about the NMC site and that they felt raising private money for a project at another site would be much more difficult,” said Zais.
The report authors continued, “Evidence gathered in the study indicates that the Hudson Area Library Foundation can proceed with a campaign for a new library. The possibility that the library can be relocated from the municipal building to the NMC building has generated enthusiasm and a sense of both urgency and excitement that a long-term solution for the library is now available.”
The report noted that all interviewees thought there was an urgent need for a long-term solution for the library, and that half of those interviewed were willing to play an active role in a capital campaign. In addition, the interviewees expressed “great enthusiasm for the concept of converting the NMC building into a new library [and] all … believe it is an ideal location and a cost-effective solution when compared to other proposed site options.”
For more information on the Hudson Area Library Foundation, the fund-raising feasibility study and the Lakefront Library project, go online to www.lakefrontlibrary.org.