Donations stack up: Library funded for another year

Jun 22, 2021

With a handful of days left in the fiscal year, the annual effort to “bridge the gap” in the Wareham Free Library’s budget has met and surpassed its fundraising goal for 2021.

Liz Wiley, president of the Wareham Library Foundation, reported that a total of $80,980 was raised for the library as of June 21 — exceeding the goal by almost $1,000.

Although the library is town-owned and operated, the town only provides 80 percent of the library’s operating budget. Every year, the Wareham Library Foundation and the Friends of the Wareham Free Library, have until June 30 (the end of the fiscal year) to raise the remaining 20 percent of the library’s operating budget — approximately $80,000. 

Without the necessary funding, the library could have lost the certification that allows it to participate in the SAILS Network or been forced to limit its operating hours and reduce its staff. The SAILS Network, which the library currently participates in, is a program that enables libraries in Southeastern Massachusetts to share resources including books and other materials.

Wiley expressed gratitude for the donors who helped ensure the library would be able to retain its certification another year. She also acknowledged the A.D. Makepeace Company’s significant contribution: the company pledged a $10,000 matching grant in March. In total, the matching grant resulted in $33,000 in donations from the company and community alike. Wiley also thanked an anonymous donor who made a $12,000 contribution that helped the Foundation meet its fundraising goal. 

“On behalf of the Wareham Library Foundation, we would like to thank the A.D. Makepeace Company and all of our community members who stepped up in big and small ways to support the Bridge the Gap campaign,” Wiley said. “Without your support, we would not be able to provide the library with the funding support it needs to operate at full capacity.”

Wiley said the matching grant also expanded the Foundation’s donor database, which was particularly critical in a year when the typical annual fundraising efforts were stymied by the pandemic.

She added that surpassing the fundraising goal was “a testament to how important it is to have a strong, vibrant library in our town.”

The Foundation met its goal for this year, but efforts to raise funds for next year’s budget are already underway. Residents can donate using the “donate” button on the Foundation’s website at Alternatively, checks can be mailed to Wareham Library Foundation, P.O. Box 485, East Wareham, MA 02538.

This story has been updated to acknowledge a large donation.