This is a book chapter from Tim Schlak, Tim,. Corrall, Sheila., Bracke, Paul. "The Social Future of Academic Libraries: New Perspectives on Communities, Networks, and Engagement". Facet Publishing, London, 2022.
Date of this Version
The Social Capital Fundraising Model builds stronger and more meaningful connections with individuals who are in a position to give to the library, and it increases the reputation and value of the library. Finally, because so little scholarship exists on fundraising for the academic library, this piece adds to this literature. It also brings the academic library into philanthropy literature, which is an area of tremendous growth in recent years. My intent is that this chapter will serve as evidence for higher education development programs to invest more in academic library fundraising, recognising it as a viable case for giving for higher education donors. I also hope that it encourages library leaders, staff and faculty to embrace fundraising. In order to fulfil the promise of the social future of libraries, the library must turn outward, beyond the campus and its users, and engage with individuals and entities that can be partners in that future. There are many academic libraries that enjoy successful fundraising. There are more, however, that struggle (Keith, Salem & Cumiskey 2018). During the past two years conducting a study with a colleague on the changing practice of fundraising in academic libraries, I heard many challenges that fundraisers face to successfully navigate the process and meet expectations and needs for funding. I have had calls from deans who are frustrated that central development will hardly listen to their claim that the library is a viable fundraising unit. Many libraries lack fundraising support at all. Through the discussion of a fundraising model built upon social capital, I will describe this fundraising process, provide some insight into the fundraiser’s experience and demonstrate how fundraising in this way not only brings in funds but creates a culture of philanthropy.