To become a Sustainer, select “Make this a monthly donation” under the “Enter an Amount” section on our Donate page, or call the office at 608.266.6318.

By Jessica Mac Naughton
Former President, Foundation Board of Directors

Q: What does it mean to become a Sustainer of Madison Public Library Foundation?

The foundation has names for all of its donor groups, from Loyal Friends – donors who give each year for 10 or more years – to Silas Pinney Society members, those who commit to a planned gift. Sustainers are donors who recognize that the foundation needs a steady, reliable stream of income to take Madison Public Library from good to great. These individuals agree to have a set donation amount withdrawn from their bank account or charged to a credit card each month. 

There are many benefits to both the donor and the foundation when setting up a recurring gift:

1. It’s convenient and easy for the donor and the foundation. Becoming a Sustainer takes a small amount of time initially, but once the foundation obtains the bank information required to withdraw the funds each month, the work is done. The donor doesn’t have to worry about going online or sending in envelopes unless he or she wants to make a gift beyond the monthly deduction. Staff time put into processing donations is reduced as well.

2. The money comes out of one’s account over time rather than in a lump sum. Donating a set amount each month for a year – say, $25 – is a little easier on the budget than $300 at once, so the donor may be able to give more over time.

3. If the foundation knows the gifts are coming, it can better plan for their use. Long-term investments for the foundation become easier when there is a predictable stream of gifts coming in. Of course, the donor can always change, pause or cancel a recurring gift if the need arises.

4. Automated withdrawals are eco-friendly. The foundation can cut down on appeal mailings if its staff knows a person is making regular gifts. The donor also avoids having to write checks or mail in donations.

While the Sustainer program is automated, it does not mean the foundation will cut down on communicating with the donor. Recurring gifts are a wonderful tool for a nonprofit, but they are just the beginning of a deeper relationship between the donor and the foundation. By reading the stories in this newsletter and the foundation’s other forms of communications, Sustainers can see their dollars at work, including funding new and existing programs, expanding services or collections, and improving facilities.

To take your philanthropy to the next level and become a Sustainer, select “Make this a monthly donation” under the “Enter an Amount” section on our Donate page, or call the office at 608.266.6318.