It's been a very quiet spring for us at Library Fundraising, largely because we have been waiting for the IRS to correct their error with respect to our 501c3 listing. But It did finally get corrected which allowed us to return to fundraising this summer.
We expected to devote this year to applying to foundations and the like for significant grants, and that is still our plan although we're now about six months behind. But we're on it. Our current total funds raised is $327,000. So, if we're aiming at $500,000, we'd need $173,000 more. But, we're now aiming at $538,000 for a variety of reasons, not least the expectation that in the several years we've been raising these funds, the costs of building will have increased some so we want to go to the foundations with a more realistic cost appraisal.
We've had some good news and some not so good news on the costs of building: first, the initial assessment of the septic system is that it is adequate for the planned new library. Having to replace the septic system would involve $30-$40,000, I am told, so that looks like it will be a big savings (assuming the final assessment is the same). On the other hand, it turns out that there is an underground heating oil tank that will have to be drained and removed. Fortunately, we have people involved who have a better understanding of the technical matters than I do.
Additionally, we have moved ahead on naming an architect in order to get the design work moved forward. There are some foundations that will expect us to have something more like final design completed before they get involved in any funding. We are hoping that architectural appointment will happen by the end of July and those drawings and plans will be available in the fall.
Finally, as to actual foundation proposals: we have identified 9 foundations whose interests match our project and who are willing to support capital projects in principle. They have different requirements, purposes and schedules, so we can't just send 9 copies of our proposal out, but we have sent two (required) pre-proposals (called 'letters of inquiry') which are fairly brief applications asking to be invited to submit a full proposal. And we have mailed out one full proposal. We can expect fairly rapid responses to the Letters of Inquiry. And one of them, the M.J. Murdoch Charitable Trust, has indeed turned us down because they 'don't usually fund public libraries.' And we are, indeed, a public library, but their web page and instructions didn't mention that would be a limitation.
So, that's where we are right now: at 8 foundations. We'll let you know what we know, what we hear, whenever we hear something. The Norcliffe Foundation (in Seattle), to whom we sent a full proposal this week, will not make any decisions for about three months.
In the meantime, we are at the Saturday/Community Market from 10-1 every weekend and hope you'll come by for news, plants, vegetables, quilted goods, other odds and ends of a yard sale nature as we have them, and to drop off any donations YOU'd like to make.