Fact Sheet #5
How to Organise an Academic Friends Group
- Obtain support from library administration, in particular, the university librarian.
- Establish a liaison position in the library with specific time designated for Friends' activities.
- Select a steering committee of concerned persons from the alumni, faculty, student body, university community and library administration. Include a liaison wit the development office. It is important to have access to the institution's legal office, PR and advertising talent, and high-profile leaders.
- Define your dues structure, membership categories.
- Clarify tax status of Friends groups or of the parent institution so that when you collect dues they will be deductible by the member.
- Define the mission to be fulfiled by the Friends, and develop a constitution and bylaws reflecting this mission.
- Discuss with library administration, what assistance the institution will provide i.e. office space, printing, professional assistance.
- Decide on membership brochure, artwork, and how you will reproduce and distribute brochure, and who will pay.
- Begin publicity campaign. Be sure to involve university public relations and development offices, the alumni office and local media.
- Decide on a tentative schedule for the first year, in order to involve new members on committees as soon as they join.
- Set date for opening meeting. Plan the programme carefully. Have a brief agenda for first annual meeting, perhaps with guest speaker.
- Develop a long-range plan for Friends. Re- evaluate it periodically.
- When fundraising becomes feasible; develop a campaign and set goals.