Bangor firm at work on Falmouth library fundraising campaign

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FALMOUTH — Trustees of Falmouth Memorial Library, armed with overwhelming support from voters on Nov. 4 for town financing of half the cost of an expansion and renovation, are preparing the fundraising phase of their campaign.

Library President Mark Porada said the board of trustees is using Bangor-based Ovation Fundraising Counsel to determine “an appropriate strategy going forward.”

“Under the agreement with town, we have two years to conduct the capital campaign, and at this point we’re just formulating plan how best to go forward over the next few months,” Porada said.

Porada said Ovation has worked with the library in the past. According to its website, Ovations has also “worked with educational institutions, arts organizations, health and human service agencies, libraries, community associations, environmental groups, and more.”

Other Ovation clients include the Telling Room in Portland, the University of Maine at Augusta, the Bangor Public Library, the Charles M. Bailey Public Library in Winthrop.

Ovation fundraising executive Lisa Wahlstrom said the organization did fundraising feasibility work with the board last spring, and worked with the board on a prior, unsuccessful plan to move the library into the old Lunt School.

Wahlstrom said Ovation began its current fundraising feasibility work in early 2014 and presented results to the board in April. 

The board is waiting for Ovation to finalize proposed plan materials before they go public with any kind of campaign.

“My sense is that early next year the library will be in a position to actively begin conducting a capital campaign,” Porada said. 

He added that he couldn’t be more specific without seeing what the exact plan is going to be, but they will “have a game plan by shortly after beginning of the new year, and whatever that plan is we’ll go from there.”

“There are several phases of fundraising campaigning,” Wahlstrom said, “and it will likely continue for 18 months or more through various stages of fundraising.”

As per the agreement with the town, construction on the library won’t begin until the library can demonstrate it has the capacity to raise half the money necessary to expand and renovate before the town funds become available.

“So it’s likely that we’ll be well into the fundraising campaign,” Porada said.

He said the library has received a few donations already, even though it has not been actively soliciting.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

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