Effingham Daily News
---- — Helen Matthes Library has reached the 10 percent fundraising mark for the new building, and the library board wants to keep that momentum going.
Director Amanda McKay reported that the funds have amounted to $100,000 in the bank and $100,000 in kind.
The board decided to forgo contracting a consultant for fund-raising efforts, which was costing the organization $4,000 a month over the past six months. Instead, McKay will oversee the fundraising campaign for the library.
Board members deemed the expense unnecessary after expecting fundraising to be much further along at this point.
“I’m frustrated... I just expected more for the money. I don’t feel like Amanda should do it … but we have to rehabilitate that building next door,” said board member Jim Arndt of the new building.
Other board members agreed the six-month contract didn’t yield what they expected and expressed confidence in McKay to take on the task.
“I feel like Amanda can take on that role,” said Co-president Racheal Fearday.
McKay said the fundraising committee has been trained and is ready to start making calls to potential donors.
McKay said the more involved the library is in the community, the better chance it has of receiving donations.
“This is all about relationship fundraising,” she said. “If you and I have a connection … you might still say no, but you’re more inclined to say yes.”
The board also accepted Monday the donation of an elevator for the new building from a source who wishes to remain anonymous.
The new elevator and a shaft adjusted to fit it would have cost the library $100,000. While the work to fit the donated elevator into the old Fifth-Third Bank building will still cost about $40,000, the library will save $60,000 overall
“It will fit the building,” McKay said. “Before we accepted the donation, we had the architects and engineers double check everything... The new shaft is going in anyways, and there are a couple minor tweaks that have to happen to it (the elevator).”
Items left behind in the former bank building, such as desks, credenzas, copy machines and some banking equipment that cannot be re-purposed by the library may be sold in the near future, with the money raised to go back to the new library fund.