The Community Library

The Challenge

The Community Library (Ketchum, ID) is a privately funded public library that brings information, ideas, and individuals together to enhance the cultural life of the Wood River Valley.

A cultural institution deeply rooted in its community, The Community Library wanted to better meet the needs of its patrons and update its facilities to thrive in the digital age. Most of its building was over 40 years old, and it had not conducted a significant campaign in 20 years. The Library also had the opportunity to accept ownership of, care for, and steward the Hemingway House and Preserve, a historic community asset.

Beginning in 2014, the Library went through an extensive community input process to assess its constituents’ interests and needs. Following this step, the Library engaged Campbell & Company to test the feasibility of a campaign to bring its community’s vision to life.

The Process

In 2015, our team conducted a campaign planning study with The Community Library, testing a conservative $12.1 million goal. Finding substantial community support, we recommended an initial “working goal” of $9 million, then provided counsel throughout campaign.

Our counsel included working with Library staff and stakeholders to develop a compelling campaign case for support, ensuring it reflected the broad-based, inclusive nature of this community-wide effort. We also guided the Library through three campaign phases, which included several match challenges to boost momentum at strategic points.

The Community Library’s campaign benefited from strong volunteer leadership, namely a powerhouse steering committee that partnered with staff to engage all segments of the Library’s constituency. It also benefited from strong staff leadership, who—without adding staff—continued to raise money for the annual fund while leading the campaign.

"Our partnership with Campbell & Company was critical to our success...We depended on their counsel and advice, guidance, and coaching to help us reach our goal."

- Carter Hedberg, Director of Philanthropy, The Community Library

The Impact

The Community Library completed its campaign well above goal, securing over $14 million.

Through this initiative, the Library has been able to elevate its work on multiple fronts, including significant facility renovations, expanded community programs and resources, and ownership and stewardship of the Hemmingway House and Preserve.

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