Annual Report 2019
In many ways the year 2019 was a pivotal year for the Hayward Library Foundation. By November 30, investment income and new donations had passed the $68,000 mark, and in all likelihood would end the calendar year above $85,000. During the year we welcomed two new faces to our board, Betsy Stocker and Lynell Swenson, both with lots of enthusiasm and creative ideas. And after two disappointing summer mailing campaigns to geographic areas in our greater market (2018 and 2019), we have concluded that future campaigns must target likely prospects from a refined list. Thus our 2019 holiday campaign using a proven list will likely reach $20,000.
SHARING ACCUMULATED ASSETS: Back in 2017, we had set a goal of raising $2 million to create an endowment by 2021 that would allow the foundation to use annual growth and interest earned to gift the library about $100,000 each year. This way, we could ensure the future of the library. This $2M may have been too lofty within this tight time frame, so this year we explored a way to start helping the library immediately in a meaningful way. We decided that, based on average annual growth of our assets, we could start supporting the library annually with about 4 percent of our total assets (reduced by annual administrative costs)? Each year end, the board would review our financial performance first to maintain satisfactory growth. For this year, an early estimate is to add more than $11,000 to the library coffers.
FINE-TUNING PROSPECT LISTS: This year’s holiday campaign has proven the benefit of examining our current prospect list and refining it with a sharp pencil. Having done that in 2019, we are experiencing returns from the mailing that far exceed what normally is expected when you request action. As a group, charitable drives are considered successful with a 5 percent return. As of late December, we have processed 45 returns out of a total of about 250 mailings. That’s 18 percent and we’re not done yet.
TIME FOR AUDIT? Like all charitable foundations, we operate with a high level of trust by our donors. Our attention to detail in handling large amounts of money with a minimum of administrative expense is our stated goal. But this public trust should, in a timely manner, be fortified with an audit and one conducted by a third responsible party. With total assets now past $450,000, the board should consider undergoing an audit in 2020. Also, we should consider enacting a policy of a second person overseeing transactions.
CHANGE IS HEALTHY: This January, the board will experience several leadership changes, due to limitations of tenure set forth in our Bylaws. This is good for any organization because it allows new thinking about our goals and how we go about achieving them. Everyone has a different view to share and that’s good. Meanwhile, there is nothing stopping a stepping down board member from volunteering his or her help in an ex officio role.
Tom Burgess, president