Support ILA

ILA has numerous opportunities for members, non-members, and those interested in supporting Illinois library service to donate.

Please use the information provided below as a guide for your decision-making process on how you can contribute to ILA and support the future of library service in Illinois.

Designated Funds  

Contributions designated to one of the following funds are tax deductible:

Diversity Scholarship Fund

This scholarship fund supports ILA’s efforts to increase diversity in the profession.

The fund will continue to support Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholars, who are Illinois recipients of ALA Spectrum Scholarships. The Spectrum and Williams Scholars programs strive to ensure diversity within librarianship; ILA's program is named in honor of 2002-2003 ILA President, the late Sylvia Murphy Williams.  

In addition, the fund will be used to increase financial support by providing travel grants to allow library workers to attend ILA conferences and other continuing education opportunities and expand networking opportunities targeted to members of underrepresented groups.

Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Fund

This fund supports the Hugh C. Atkinson Award, which is made annually for sustained activity and contributions having a lasting impact on librarianship.

ILA Endowment Fund

Established in 2000, the endowment is ILA's main vehicle for long-term financial stability and growth. Interest from the endowment is used to support the overall goals of the association, with the principal retained in a reserve fund. Current assets are valued at approximately $170,000.

Illinois Library Luminaries

Illinois Library Luminaries honor those who have made a significant contribution to Illinois libraries and whose supporters make a contribution of at least $2,000 to the Illinois Library Association Endowment on their behalf. Want to nominate a potential Luminary? Contact the chair of the ILA Fundraising Committee.

Intellectual Freedom Fund

The Intellectual Freedom Fund was created by the ILA Executive Board in honor of Robert P. Doyle on the occasion of his retirement in recognition of his extraordinary personal and professional commitment to ILA and to the principles of intellectual freedom. The Intellectual Freedom Fund will provide financial support for ILA’s Intellectual Freedom Award.

Legal Defense Fund

In 2004, ILA filed its first amicus brief on behalf of an Illinois library (Cherry Valley Public Library District case) to protect the ability of public library districts to annex new territory. Contributions have nearly covered the costs of this filing, but a fund is being developed to support future legal needs to defend freedom of information.

Robert R. McClarren Fund

This fund supports the Robert R. McClarren Award, given to a worthy recipient from the Illinois library communitylibrarian, trustee, legislator, or library–who has contributed significantly to legislative development in the state of Illinois.

Valerie J. Wilford Memorial Fund

This fund, begun in 2016 by Ms. Wilford's family, friends, and colleagues, supports ILA initiatives that encourage multi-type library cooperation, including the Hugh C. Atkinson Award and the Valerie J. Wilford Scholarship Grant. Ms. Wilford, 1984 President of the Illinois Library Association, was a teacher and mentor to hundreds of librarians and made enormous contributions to school librarianship, multi-type cooperation, and resource sharing in Illinois, and is herself a past winner of the Atkinson Award. 

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Unrestricted Donations

Your unrestricted donation will be applied to the most urgent and pressing needs of the association.

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Sponsorship Programs

Library Leadership Partners Program

In 2018, ILA established the Library Leadership Partners program for sponsors interested in supporting ILA's programs and services across a broad spectrum of opportunities: sponsoring and/or exhibiting at the ILA Annual Conference, ILA award sponsorships, other event sponsorships, advertising in the ILA Reporter, and so on. A comprehensive package can be designed to align ILA and donor needs and wishes. Many thanks to our founding member: Today's Business Solutions! Contact Deputy Director Cynthia Robinson for further information.

ILA Conference Sponsorships 

Many of the events at the ILA Annual Conference are underwritten by corporations and individuals who support ILA's mission and goals.  Sponsorships range in value from $500 to $2,000 and a complete list of sponsorship opportunities is available on the ILA website.  Sponsorships allow ILA to keep conference fees down and encourage greater participation, while providing significant exposure to the sponsoring organizations. Contact Deputy Director Cynthia Robinson for further information.

ILA Awards Sponsorship

ILA awards recognize the contributions of members toward promoting library service in Illinois. Sponsorships range in value from $250 to $1000 and cover production of award certificates as well as any cash award. Contact Member Services Manager Tina Koleva for further information.

Other Event Sponsorship

ILA produces a significant array of valuable continuing education and events for librarians, library staff, and library trustees in Illinois, including Directors' University, Elevate Illinois Library Leadership, the Trustee Forum Workshop, the Illinois Youth Services Institute, and Reaching Forward, among others. Sponsorships are available in varying amounts for these; contact Deputy Director Cynthia Robinson for further information. 

Other Ways to Support ILA and Illinois Libraries

Gift Solicitation

Members are encouraged to refer names of corporate or other prospective donors to the ILA Fundraising Committee for coordinated follow-up.

Planned Giving

There are a number of options for planned or deferred giving that allow you to make a significant contribution to the future of library service in Illinois.  Depending on individual circumstances, a planned gift may enable you to reduce income, gift, and estate taxes or reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes. Talk with an attorney, accountant, or financial advisor to determine which types of planned giving are best suited to your financial goals.

Wills and Living Trusts

Charitable bequests made through wills or revocable living trusts are a popular way to support an organization. Bequests are simple to arrange, offer flexibility, and can reduce estate taxes. While these are often thought to be the primary types of planned giving, there are other options that may be more advantageous, if not as well known.

Life Income Plans

There are a number of ways to donate cash, securities, or other property and retain lifetime payments for yourself or loved ones. Benefits include a current income tax deduction, as well as other possible tax advantages.

Retirement Plan Assets

In many cases, donating some or all of the assets from your IRA, 401(k), or other qualified retirement plan is a smart option. Gifts can be made during your lifetime or upon death.

Matching Gift Programs

Librarians who work for corporate libraries (or who have spouses who work for corporations) or trustees or friends of ILA who work for a corporation are urged to investigate matching gift opportunities. Contact your firm's human resources department for information and appropriate forms.

Fund for Illinois Libraries

The Fund for Illinois Libraries was created in 1990 to help Illinois libraries in their fundraising efforts. Libraries often solicit funds from the general public, businesses, or foundations. In some cases, donors are permitted to give only to organizations holding IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For many libraries this means foregoing a gift, as the time, effort, and costs of establishing and maintaining 501(c)(3) status are prohibitive. 

Other Gift Options

ILA welcomes contributions of a variety of types of appreciated assets such as securities, life insurance, U.S. saving bonds, annuity contracts, and personal property such as real estate.

Contact Executive Director Diane Foote for further information.

Donor Recognition

All donors to ILA will be recognized in ways that acknowledge the value and importance of their contribution to Illinois libraries.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »