Friends and Foundation Merger Information

The Lawrence Public Library Friends and Foundation are currently exploring the possibility of forming a merger between the two organizations.

Over the past several years, the Friends and Foundation forged a close relationship through joint support of the library’s Summer Reading and Read Across Lawrence programs, a shared donor database, and distribution of an annual fundraising mailer and quarterly newsletter. This collaboration has worked very well, sparking the question of whether to create a more official joint structure.

Possible beneficial outcomes of the merger:

  • Donor confusion would be alleviated.
    Having just one organization makes it clearer where an individual’s financial and volunteer support is directed.
  • Administration would become more efficient.
    Operating one organization reduces administrative requirements. There would be just one annual audit, one Form 990 tax return, one state annual report, and one board to recruit.
  • Wider range of available volunteer opportunities.
    Not only can volunteers organize and implement book sales, but also can plan fundraising parties, help with grant writing, seek out planned gifts, and conduct advocacy campaigns for the library.
  • Advocacy and fundraising would become joined.
    The key functions of advocacy and fundraising are natural, interconnected activities for a merged Friends and Foundation. Having private dollars available to use as matching funds often helps to leverage new public dollars requested through advocacy efforts.
  • LPL support would be both transformed and strengthened.
    A thoughtful, well planned merger will provide a unique opportunity to reinvigorate and reimagine a new Friends and Foundation support organization. 

Next steps

  1. The Friends members will vote at their annual meeting Saturday March 9 at 10 AM.
  2. If the plan is approved, the Foundation Board will then vote at their next meeting Monday March 25 at 4:30 PM.

In order to make the most informed vote possible, please review the following proposed bylaws, policies, and procedures.

Thank you, as always, for your dedication to Lawrence Public Library.

Read the Merger Documents Here