While funders uniformly promote greater inclusivity and access to the nation's public libraries, a unique gift suggests the most vexing "barrier to entry" may be financial.
While most libraries lack the New York Public Library's size and stature, a recent gift suggests the rewards that may come if they embrace funder-friendly concepts like accessibility, diversity and inclusion.
The Knight Foundation is encouraging public libraries to embrace concepts traditionally associated with nonprofit arts and performance organizations.
Libraries tend to have a hard time attracting major private support. But in the wake of another big recent library gift, it looks like more funders grasp how giving to libraries can advance their varied goals.
A grants competition to support local branches of the New York Public Library drew an impressive 24,000 suggestions for how funders might distribute $20,000 grants.
You'd think the shocking fact that 30 million U.S. adults can't read would draw the attention of loads of funders. But that's not the case. Which is why the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is so important.
While we see a steady stream of big gifts going to institutions such as hospitals, public parks and universities, libraries rarely attract major money. What's that about?
Over recent years, the Revson Foundation has been a key player in strengthening New York's libraries. We look at its strategy, and its new parter in this work.