How to Start a Friends Group

By , November 29, 2017 12:18 pm
  1. The Librarian, the Library Board and small group (5-6) of interested persons should identify the reasons and needs for forming a Friends organization.
  2. Appoint a core committee of interested persons to establish the structure of the organization by constructing a constitution and bylaws.
  3. Identify an attorney in your community who would be willing to donate services to establish tax exempt status for your organization and assist with other legal matters.
  4. Determine dues and membership categories, and design a membership brochure.
  5. Establish a checking account in the name of the organization.
  6. Explore 501(c)(3) status of the Internal Revenue Code for the organization (IRS Package 1023, and Publications 557, 578, 598 may be ordered from the IRS: 1-800-829-3676), or at the IRS web site: www.irs.gov
  7. Schedule a membership event and publicize it through your community newspapers, radio stations, and posters. Send invitations to community officials, leaders, and organizations. Contact FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES to invite a FoKL Trustee to speak at your first membership event and to ask about applying for a Start-Up Grant from FoKL.
  8. Hold the membership event on an evening or weekend. Provide light refreshments. Have a member of the core committee and, if possible, a FoKL Trustee speak about the reasons and benefits of forming a friends organization. Have membership brochures and pens available, and appoint an acting treasurer to accept the dues.
  9. Set the first annual meeting to elect officers, and plan an interesting program to attract attendees. Publicize the meetings in the library and throughout the community.
  10. Schedule an officers board meeting as soon as possible after the first annual meeting to plan first year activities, and to develop both short and long range plans and projects for the organization.
  11. Once projects have been selected, appoint or elect a chairperson for each one. Friends projects may enhance existing or add new services for the library, such as purchasing new books, dvds, audiobooks for the collection; providing children’s programs; purchasing library furnishings, computer and other equipment; funding renovations or additions to the existing library building; raising money for a new library building.
  12. Encourage the members of your new Friends organization to attend the annual FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES luncheon and program, held in conjunction with the Kansas Libraries Association Annual Conference. FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES or your local librarian can provide you with the date and details.

YOUR FRIENDS ORGANIZATION IS ENCOURAGED TO JOIN FRIENDS OF KANSAS LIBRARIES. MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES, DUES AND BENEFITS ARE LISTED IN THEĀ MEMBERSHIP FORM (Membership paid after October 1, 2017 extends through December, 2018.)

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