Confidence & Optimism at All-Time Low

I saw this on today – from an NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll:

. . . 61 % say the United States is headed in the wrong direction; 65 % believe the nation is in a state of decline; and 66 % say they’re not confident that life for their children’s generation will be better than it is now.

In addition, Americans are deeply pessimistic about the state of the economy. Only 26 % think the economy will improve in the next 12 months (which is down 14 points from the previous poll), and just 26 % believe their wages will increase in the next year.

Confidence in key U.S. institutions is also incredibly low: 18 % have confidence in the federal government; 13 % have confidence in the news media; 12 % have confidence in large corporations; 10 % have confidence in the financial industry; and only 9 % have confidence in Congress. The numbers for the media and Congress are the lowest for those institutions in the entire history of the poll.

What are the implications for philanthropy? 

If you are a library, what does this poll tell you?  What do you have to do differently?  What does it mean for the future of your organization and those you serve? How will you thrive and serve your community in the future?

If you are a philanthropist (donor) – of ANY size net worth – what are the implications for you?  How do you feel about the future of the American/World economy?  How do you feel about your family’s future?  What would you like to do about it?

SEEKING:  libraries that you know and love that are in looking to improve their revenue streams.  Contact Laura Anne Miller, 614.915.4324, today.

Full story on

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Receiving the Ultimate Gift – Part I

 -DATELINE- Your Town-  

Local Library Receives Millions in Philanthropic Gifts

Did you know that you and your local Friends association could make that headline a reality for your library?  It may seem highly improbable, given the headlines one sees right now regarding the financial stress most libraries and other worthy non-profits are under.  However, moving from CRISIS (i.e., living hand-to-mouth and at the whim of local/state politicians) to long-term financial STABILITY (i.e., having a predictable, growing stream of revenue) can be less painful and less complicated than you may think.  It takes being purposeful, intentional and enterprising .  .  .  

There is a time-tested way of relieving financial stress


It can be accomplished by recognizing and acting upon the following:   

1) The best source of long-term funding is through individual donor relationships – NOT tax revenue and “corporate” sponsorships.   

2) There are 4 ways individuals can give:   

A – outright gift NOW of what they have NOW (annual gift of cash or in-kind)   

B – gift that gives the donor income NOW, with the remaining assets to the library LATER   

C – gift that gives the library income NOW, with the remaining assets returning to the donor estate LATER   

D – gift that gives the library assets at some point in the future   

3) The last 3 types of gifts, often called “deferred gifts” are 20-25 times larger than the average outright NOW gift   

4) Once a deferred gift is designated, the donor usually increases annual giving as well.

5) When trying to get the NOW gift, most non-profits operate in the least effective areas of annual fundraising – events (banquets, 5k races, book sales, etc.), direct mail/email, peddling “door-to-door” (e.g., candy bars, gift cards, etc.)   

6) The BEST way to generate revenue in any of the 4 areas is through face-to-face relationship building.   

Implication: If 95% of libraries are dependent upon tax revenue and annual giving, then they are not tapping into more than 75% of the resources available to them.  Their revenue could dramatically increase over the long-term by using more effective annual funding methods and adding planned giving to their “portfolio”.  Also consider that one-to-one relationship building takes different kinds of strategies and tactics than an event:  It involves making the values-based compelling case for support.   

Increasing your library’s revenue can happen, but only with a responsible, intentional plan that is implemented with dedication and discipline.  Over the next several days, we will post tips for accomplishing that aim through “network” fundraising and persuasive communication.  In the meantime, get started by examining the following about your library:  strengths, impact in the community, capabilities and talents of your people, and future aspirations.  Identify the gaps in the community that your library is uniquely qualified to fill.  Let me know about your unique story . . . Post the comments here or find us on Facebook – Innovations in Library Funding and post your own video, photos and links to stories about how your library is “Making Good Work”.

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Tough Times and Henry V

Inaction is not an option

Libraries are facing the toughest financial challenges in memory.  Take a look at this leadership video to learn what Shakespeare said about facing tough times head on and leading your team to success. 

How would you like to look back in a few years and say, “We few, we happy few . . .” ?  At Interpretations Advisor Group, we facilitate your new perspective, your new plan – addressing the current crisis while planting the seeds for long-term stability.  If you are interested in pressing forward to save your library and create a thriving institution for the future, contact us.

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Moving from Crisis to Stability

Go from Crisis to Stability


If your library is having to worry too much about local municipal and state budget cuts, perhaps it is time to review the revenue model you are using . . . Things are changing in the world of fundraising, are you in touch with your donors and potential donors?  Are you missing out on major revenue because you are not aware of the best places to look?  Take a look at this presentation:  Library-New Trends – for a more detailed discussion, contact Laura Miller directly:  614-915-4324 or – she is also available to present this via web or live to your Friends Association and your Board. 

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County, library and towns try to cobble together a plan to save the libraries

This story comes from North Carolina:

County, library and towns try to cobble together a plan to save the libraries 


There is a time-tested way of relieving financial stress


Thinking outside the box – maybe.  Making a larger box- definitely.  Many funding options exist that could help libraries transition from a series of short-term crises to long-term stability.  It is possible to be less influenced by the vagaries of local politics and government/tax revenue. . . 



How to adapt to the paradigm that has already shifted

  • Transition from short-term missions to long-term development
    • focus on being effective, not efficient
    • Grants → events → membership → long-term mindset
  • Create the values-based compelling case for support
  • Abandon desperation and need
  • stop hiding behind the screen –
    • use social media, websites and communication material more effectively
    • you are in sales – get in front of people and PROMOTE your mission – one-to-one is best
  • Networking
    • building the strategic partnerships for long-term revenue growth
    • Innovations in Network Fundraising – such as PhilanthropPlus (TM)  – a turn-key program that produces meaningful results

contact Laura Miller for more information:  614-915-4324 or 


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The Write Path to Green

Sharpie, with Paper Mate and EXPO is proud to announce a new partnership with TerraCycle, the pioneering upcycling company that finds new ways to repurpose

via The Write Path to Green.

Take a look at this program and let me know what you think – is it truly green?  Do you think it is a viable fundraising program for your library or organization?

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A Single Grain of Rice – Lessons for Fundraising

the Power of Compounding & Network Fundraising

Let this simple folk tale inspire you  . . . . Contact Us ( to learn how to experience extraordinary growth through Referrals and Network Fundraising.  It goes beyond “social media” and related phenomena – our programs are about building commitments.


   a mathematical folktale by Demi

 Long ago in India, there lived a raja who believed he was wise and fair, as a raja should be. The people in his province were rice farmers. The raja decreed that everyone must give nearly all of their rice to him. “I will store the rice safely,” the raja promised the people, “so that in time of famine, everyone will have rice to eat, and no one will go hungry.” Each year, the raja’s rice collectors gathered nearly all of the people’s rice and carried it away to the royal storehouses.

 For many years, the rice grew well. The people gave nearly all of their rice to the raja, and the storehouses were always full. But the people were left with only enough rice to get by. Then one year the rice grew badly and there was famine and hunger. The people had no rice to give to the raja, and they had no rice to eat. The raja’s ministers implored him, “Your highness, let us open the royal storehouses and give the rice to the people, as you promised.” “No!” cried the raja. How do I know how long the famine will last? I must have the rice for myself. Promise or no promise, a raja must not go hungry!”

 Time went on, and the people grew more and more hungry. But the raja would not give out the rice. One day, the raja ordered a feast for himself and his court–as, it seemed to him, a raja should now and then, even when there is famine. A servant led an elephant from a royal storehouse to the palace, carrying two full baskets of rice. A village girl named Rani saw that a trickle of rice was falling from one of the baskets. Quickly she jumped up and walked along beside the elephant, catching the falling rice in her skirt. She was clever, and she began to make a plan.

 At the palace, a guard cried, “Halt, thief! Where are you going with that rice?”

“I am not a thief,” Rani replied. “This rice fell from one of the baskets, and I am returning it now to the raja.”

 When the raja heard about Rani’s good deed, he asked his ministers to bring her before him.

“I wish to reward you for returning what belongs to me,” the raja said to Rani. “Ask me for anything, and you shall have it.”

 ”Your highness,” said Rani, “I do not deserve any reward at all. But if you wish, you may give me one grain of rice.”

 ”Only one grain of rice?” exclaimed the raja. “Surely you will allow me to reward you more plentifully, as a raja should.”

 ”Very well,” said Rani. “If it pleased Your Highness, you may reward me in this way. Today, you will give me a single grain of rice. Then, each day for thirty days you will give me double the rice you gave me the day before. Thus, tomorrow you will give me two grains of rice, the next day four grains of rice, and so on for thirty days.”

 ”This seems to be a modest reward,” said the raja. “But you shall have it.”

And Rani was presented with a single grain of rice.

The next day, Rani was presented with two grains of rice.

And the following day, Rani was presented with four grains of rice.

On the ninth day, Rani was presented with 256 grains of rice. She had received in all 511 grains of rice, enough for only a small handful. “This girl is honest, but not very clever,” thought the raja. “She would have gained more rice by keeping what fell into her skirt!”

 On the twelfth day, Rani received 2048 grains of rice, about four handfuls.

On the thirteenth day, she received 4096 grains of rice, enough to fill a bowl.

On the sixteenth day, Rani was presented with a bag containing thirty-two thousand, seven hundred and sixty-eight grains of rice. All together she had enough rice for two bags. “This doubling up adds up to more rice than I expected” thought the raja. “But surely her reward won’t amount to much more.”

On the twentieth day, Rani was presented with sixteen more bags filled with rice.

On the twenty-first day, she received one million, forty-eight thousand, five hundred and seventy-six (1,048,576) grains of rice, enough to fill a basket.

On the twenty-fourth day, Rani was presented with eight million, three hundred and eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and eight grains of rice–enough to fill eight baskets, which were carried to her by eight royal deer.

 On the twenty-seventh day, thirty-two brahma bulls were needed to deliver sixty-four baskets of rice. The raja was deeply troubled. “One grain of rice has grown very great indeed,” he thought. “But I shall fulfill the reward to the end, as a raja should.”

 On the twenty-ninth day, Rani was presented with the contents of two royal storehouses.

On the thirtieth and final day, two hundred and fifty-six elephants crossed the province, carrying the contents of the last four royal storehouses–Five hundred and thirty-six million, eight hundred and seventy thousand, nine hundred and twelve grains of rice.

 All together, Rani had received more than one billion grains of rice. The raja had no more rice to give. “And what will you do with this rice,” asked the raja with a sigh, “now that I have none?”

“I shall give it to all the hungry people,” said Rani, “and I shall leave a basket of rice for you, too, if you promise from now on to take only as much rice as you need.”

“I promise,” said the raja. And for the rest of his days, the raja was truly wise and just, as a raja should be.

Interpretations Advisor Group has two programs as part of PhilanthropyPlus ™ that build your network of ambassadors to advocate for your organization. 

Ask about :
The Ultimate Gift Century Club
Business Mastermind Groups

2 systems that pay for themselves right away and along the way – financing long-term sustainability . . . or 614.915.4324

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