Rendition of new library

Rendition of new library
The New Point Roberts Library Out of the Old Julius Firehall

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2013 Year End Report

Thanks to Tor, Judson, and Kristen, we now have 8 books up; more to come!

Here is our 2013 Year End Summary of the New Library Fundraising Project (It will also be posted on our website:


The year began with fundraising totals of $100,000 and ended with over $300,000: a very successful year and one in which we reached a total that now makes our going to foundations and government agencies for help with this capital project a viable strategy.

We began 2013 with the P.R. Quilters Group carrying out a February Fiber Arts Festival to benefit the new library.  In the next month, we produced a mailing to all the households in Point Roberts reporting on our achievements in the first year and inviting them to participate or to continue to participate in 2013’s fundraising efforts.

We received in the spring a substantial contingent donation:  the donor agreed to match every $10,000 donation we could raise in new money, up to $100,000.  Within a few months, we were able to solicit such donations from two businesses (Can Am Petroleum and Westshore Terminals) and five families, which provided, with the match, almost half of this year’s total donations.

The summer saw a campaign in which we asked residents and visitors to each donate $20 to the library, with every $20 donation matched by a separate matching fund.  Over 400 individual donations were received in this way, accounting (with the match) for another $16,000 of the year’s total.

The summer also saw a series of events, including the fundraising committee hosting sales tables at the weekly Saturday Market (selling crafts, fresh produce, baked goods, and yard sale items); a second all-household mailing; two quilt raffles; sales tables at the July 4th Parade and the Annual Arts and Music Festival; a Latin Jazz Concert; and a series of outdoor movie nights.

In the fall, we hosted a Thank You! Ice Cream and Cake Party for local residents and visitors, a Silent Auction, a classical music concert, and an All Point Indoor Yard Sale.  We instituted the ‘Engraved Paver’ campaign, whereby contributors could have their names on pavers in the new library courtyard with donations of $500, $1,000, and $5,000.  

In December, we again had a table at the P.R. Arts and Crafts Fair where we sold donated goods from local artists and crafters and Christmas Library Gift Donation cards.  We finished the year with the International Marketplace (our local grocery store) conducting a ‘Round-Up’ event, where customers were invited to round up their grocery bills to the nearest dollar thereby donating to the library fundraising, while the Marketplace itself offered to match that Round-Up total to $2,500.  All donations from U.S. Thanksgiving to the end of 2013 were matched by a final matching fund of $20,000 contributed by an anonymous donor.

Although we had relatively little business participation in this project in 2012, in 2013 we reached a total of 30 business contributors (ranging from gifts of $50 to $10,000), as well as contributions from 9 local organizations.  Neilson’s Building Center was particularly active in arranging events that would benefit the new Library, including a big Bird Seed sale, a Christmas tree sale, and the International Belt Sander Races, which was held in July.

For the two years of fundraising, we now have over 800 unique, identified donors.  In addition, many more have donated in various ways, leaving cash but no names in change jars, in the ‘Great Change’ event (in 2012, in which Sterling Bank took in all the change people brought them for the new library project), and in the library itself where $10 and $20 bills with no name attached regularly appeared in the library donation container.  

We are extremely grateful to all the people who gave time, energy, and products to this effort, who contributed money, and who advised and helped to organize our work.  We are especially grateful to the Whatcom County Library Foundation which has provided us with 501(c)(3) status through the Foundation while we received our own 501(c)(3) status via the IRS.  We applied in April and received final approval in December of 2013, and retroactive to April 2013.

--Judy Ross, for the Friends of the Point Roberts Library

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