Magazine article American Libraries

$1.95-Million Wells Fargo Deal Gets Meetings off to Rousing Start. (ALA Executive Board)

Magazine article American Libraries

$1.95-Million Wells Fargo Deal Gets Meetings off to Rousing Start. (ALA Executive Board)

Article excerpt

Announcement of a $1.95-million sponsorship deal with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to support the Campaign for America's Libraries was an auspicious beginning for the ALA Executive Board's spring meetings, April 13-14. As board members cheered, ALA Executive Director William Gordon and Development Office Director Susan Roman announced that the deal had been clinched just the night before.

The sponsorship will provide $1,250,000 in cash for the campaign over five years, Gordon said. The first check, for $250,000, was to arrive in 30 days. He explained that the other piece of the sponsorship will flow through ALA's Reference and User Services Association--$700,000 for a "financial literacy" program with $350,000 in the form of grants to public libraries.

Details of how the Wells Fargo support will affect the campaign budget were sketchy, but Gordon emphasized that the commitment was "real money" and not in-kind contributions. Wells Fargo is the largest retail mortgage originator in the country and will sign on as another founding partner of the campaign (AL, Aug. 2001, p. 6). The money is expected to arrive in $250,000 increments over five years.

"We believe this is one of the largest cash gifts ever given to ALA," Gordon told an ecstatic board, "and may prevent us from having to take money out of the endowment to fund the campaign."

The segue from Wells Fargo into a discussion of the FY 2003 Association budget (EBD#3.4, #3.4.1) was a smooth one, buoyed by the news that ALA membership dues "are doing very well," according to Associate Executive Director for Finance Greg Calloway, "which in this kind of climate is counterintuitive."

During Calloway's presentation, the board learned that the headquarters lease agreement with David Green and Associates, who rent space on the seventh floor, has been extended to May 2004, although it was to have ended in December. Microsoft has informed ALA that it will no longer donate software as it has over the past few years, so it must be budgeted for. The Office for Intellectual Freedom is saving money by taking its newsletter entirely online. The budget contains no growth in the number of staff positions.

More money matters

ALA Treasurer Liz Bishoff, reporting for the board's Finance and Audit Subcommittee (EBD#4.13), warned that the Association has developed only two new revenue-generating programs in 10 years. The board reaffirmed the budget-reduction plan adopted at its 2001 fall meeting (AL, Dec., p. 58)--staggered staff hiring, reduction of temporary and outside services, and a 10% reduction in travel expenses--through August 31, the remainder of FY 2002.

The board allocated $16,000 from the Life Membership Fund to support a direct-mail campaign for the planned-giving program, with the stipulation that it be repaid.

So that 25 scholarships can be awarded for FY 2003 in the Spectrum Initiative, funds generated by the Leo Albert and Louise Giles Scholarships will be incorporated into the Spectrum minority scholarship program, although the two scholarships will retain their names. A task force chaired by former ALA president Sarah Ann Long is working to establish the William R. Gordon Scholarship within the Spectrum Initiative to honor the retiring ED, who has already contributed $10,000 to Spectrum. The Development Office's goal is to raise $200,000 for the initiative this year, said Roman (EBD#6.2).

Endowment trustee Rich Schweiterman reported by speakerphone on ALA's $ 12.5-million portfolio, saying he expected slow growth for the endowment, but certainly better than last year.

With a $49.25-million ceiling, the budget now goes to the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) and presentation at the ALA Annual Conference this month.

ALA Immediate Past President Nancy Kranich led a discussion of the "transition team" that is paving the way for the Association's split into two organizations with the forthcoming establishment of a 501 (c)(6) ALA Allied Professional Association (AL, Mar. …

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