Mark Richard, Ph.D. - Data: A Friend of the Library

In this presentation we will discuss a data strategy for libraries interested in locating external donors.

In today’s world of tight library budgets, finding external funding sources for libraries has become a necessity. Whether for a capital campaign, a new program, or just additional resource acquisition, external funding can make the difference between a project that is successfully completed or stillborn. While we often think of donors as ultra-high net worth individuals, the truth is that many in the community could be a donor if they were approached with a need, a vision, and a specific ask. Of course, personalized asks are expensive, both in time and cost. Thus, it is necessary to narrow the pool of potential donors to those most likely to participate. How can this be done? Fortunately, data sources are available to accomplish this task.

In this presentation we will discuss a data strategy for libraries interested in locating external donors. We will start with a broad look at consumer data, how it is gathered, what information is available, and where to access such information. We will then look at using external databases to narrow down a potential donor pool to the likeliest donor candidates, using fields such as estimated household income, personal interests indicators, and more. The potential for using in-house data will be discussed. At some libraries, privacy policies may allow the use of internal data to further enrich third party sources, while others may be restricted in the use of internal data. Data privacy issues must be foremost in any use of person data.

Finally, we will look at methods of identifying corporate donors, using similar techniques. Some ideas for identifying businesses that might be interested in becoming a Corporate Friend of the Library will be presented, along with ways to maintain their long-term support.


98% of library funding is political in nature and we designed this conference to help you build the support you need for funding your library.

Dr. Mark Richard is President of DatabaseUSA. An engineer by training with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Richard has spent many years in engineering management and operations management in the medical device sector, designing MRI systems and radiation therapy systems. In 2013 he transitioned to data engineering, and took over the data compilation operations of DatabaseUSA. His professional interests are in the areas of Big Data, especially as it relates to business strategies and sales planning. Dr. Richard currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.

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