Educational Institutions

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION INC

  • Houston, TX
  • www.houstonlibraryfoundation.org

Mission Statement

Through advocacy and fundraising, the Houston Public Library Foundation supports the Houston Public Library's wide range of initiatives with particular emphasis on its neighborhood libraries and their community programs.

Main Programs

  1. Youth Services
  2. Job Readiness
  3. Digital Inclusion
  4. Special Collections
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The Houston Public Library primarily serves residents of the City of Houston. However, the 43 library locations assist individuals who live outside of the city limits.

ruling year

2006

Executive Director since 2016

Self-reported

Ms. Sally Swanson

Keywords

Self-reported

Education, Job Readiness, Digital Inclusion, Preserving the Past

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Also Known As

Friends of the Houston Public Library

EIN

74-1926301

 Number

2714698777

Physical Address

550 McKinney St.

Houston, TX 77002

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Single Organization Support (B11)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Houston Public Library Foundation (HPLF) exists to provide financial and collaborative resources to the Houston Public Library. The Library's impact extends beyond the walls of the physical buildings and includes more than books. They offer free resources through integrated programs that focus on 21st Century needs. The Library system has never been more vital to the future success of our community.

In fiscal year 2016, HPLF provided $1,888,696 in program revenue to the Houston Public Library who served over 6.39 million total library visitors, in-person and online.

In the current 2017 fiscal year, HPL Foundation has a revenue target of $3,700,000.

Fiscal year 2018 begins July 1, 2017 and will see a sizable increase in revenue to support HPL programs and HPLF operations. The estimate of $5,949,500 is pending final board approval.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Youth Services

Investing in Young Minds

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 2

Job Readiness

Houston's in-demand fields require highly-skilled employees with a post high school education.

Category

Employment

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 3

Digital Inclusion

The digital divide is a growing segmentation of our society. It is essential to know how to use technology and to have access to online resources.

Category

Science & Technology

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 4

Special Collections

Conversation of documents and historically significant items preserves the past and allows long-term usability of the items for studies and research.

Category

Public, Society Benefit

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Your Houston Public Library system links people to the world through educational, recreational, and cultural programs for persons of all ages, ethnicity, and life stages. These essential programs exist through the generosity of individuals, foundations, organizations, and businesses who share our collective belief in the transformational power of lifelong learning.

    The Library positively affects over 2,000,000 people every year. The Houston Public Library Foundation and Friends of HPL share a common purpose to advocate for literacy and lifelong learning while financially supporting the Library's community programs.

    We aim to offer digital resources and WiFi to all library patrons, allow youth the homework help and tutoring needed to succeed, to help Houstonians find well-paying jobs, and to preserve the past through three special collections.

    This work is guided by the following:
    Mission Statement: Through advocacy and fundraising, the Houston Public Library Foundation supports the Houston Public Library's wide range of initiatives with particular emphasis on its neighborhood libraries and their community programs.

    Vision Statement: Provide the funding and partnership resources for HPL to lead the nation in library services.

    Core Competencies: Accountability, Responsibility, Transparency


  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    The following goals support HPL Foundation/Friends of HPL operations that ultimately benefit the Houston Public Library system through increased fundraising and advocacy.

    Update HPLF's nonprofit business model to minimize risks and maximize business opportunities.
    • Acknowledge the past to prioritize the present
    • Maximize existing resources
    • Remove duplication of effort (create collaborative mindset)
    • Document processes and update policies
    • Clear database of obsolete records
    • Integrate the mission, vision, and core values into all materials and platforms

    Increase awareness and community support
    • Establish key messages and branding that creates an overarching campaign theme
    • Empower advocates to share key messages
    • Feature individuals/supporters' success stories
    • Create events that cultivate the community
    • Collaborate with HPL to determine synergistic events

    Build strong relationships
    • Create guidelines and seek relationships with a mission match
    • Find opportunities to support COH and HPL
    • Offer workshops and cultivation events
    • Ask for collaborative ways to support ongoing activities and events
    • Establish ways of work to appreciate partners and donors

    Raise funds for financial independence and programmatic support
    • Expand into board networks, YPG organizations, etc.
    • Identify revenue pipeline, fix leaks, and maximize potential
    • Diversify revenue pipeline to add new donors/ways to donate
    • Strengthen relationships with legacy families
    • Align events to the organizational mission and vision

    Collaborative Conversations
    • Attend HPL meetings to align with marketing, program, outreach and civic priorities and annual goals, project through 2020
    • Work with HPL to capture program outcomes, success stories, program goals, and processes
    • Support FHPL's goals and provide assistance in growing their initiatives through social media and community networks.

  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The Houston Public Library Foundation is in a position of dynamic growth. Through efforts including establishing business excellence, connecting with the community, driving awareness of the Houston Public Library and building strong relationships, we will be able to achieve and surpass our goals.

    Our staff bring core strengths to lead this work:
    Executive Director - International business acumen in for-profit and nonprofit ventures.
    Marketing & Events Director - Successful public awareness campaigns and well-executed events.
    Philanthropy Coordinator - Database mastery and nonprofit organizational expertise

    Our volunteers are committed to the mission and lend their experience in:
    Nonprofit board leadership
    Financial oversight
    Fundraising
    Organizational management
    Communications
    Public affairs
    Government affairs
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    HPL Foundation measures progress with empirical and qualitative measurements.

    Improved database accuracy and utilization - Ensure constituent records in the database are complete and viable.

    Increased public support - Donations continue to increase and are being tracked against monetary goals.

    Increased public engagement - Increased attendance at HPL Foundation and Friends of HPL events.

    Improved partnerships - Increase the promotion of current partnerships and add new partnerships with corporate and nonprofit entities to maximize visibility.

    Outcome measurements - Design outcome measurement models for HPL planning and program evaluation.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Improved database accuracy and utilization - Only 20% of the current records in the database are complete and viable constituents. Clean up will continue to mark inactive records by the end of this fiscal year.

    Increased public support - Donations continue to increase and are being tracked against monetary goals. FY 17 is on target to achieve revenue goals.

    Increased public engagement - Increased attendance at HPL Foundation and Friends of HPL events. Event attendance has increase throughout FY 17 and additional events/activities are planned for FY 18 to continue this trend.

    Improved partnerships - Increase the promotion of current partnerships and add new partnerships with corporate and nonprofit entities to maximize visibility. New partnerships highlight the viability and vitality of library programs.

    Outcome measurements - Design outcome measurement models for HPL planning and program evaluation. This process is underway and will begin in earnest in FY 18.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The Houston Public Library primarily serves residents of the City of Houston. However, the 43 library locations assist individuals who live outside of the city limits.

Funding Needs

The people our Library serves are as diverse as the community itself. The Library is a great equalizer, providing free access to collection materials and technology for everyone who enters its doors. Over the last year, our Library has grown through focused initiatives that engage our most vulnerable populations in four areas of greatest need and priority: 1. Youth Services 2. Digital Inclusion 3. Job Readiness 4. Special Collections Over 6.5 million people visit the Houston Public Library. 331,687 program attendees 862,949 registered borrowers (library card holders) 1.14 million computer users. Approximately 20% of library patrons, or 400,000 individuals live at or below the federal poverty guidelines. The City of Houston pays for Library staff and physical needs, such as keeping the lights and water in service, but philanthropy pays for 100% of the programs.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION INC

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Ms. Sally Swanson

BIO

Sally Swanson is the executive director for the Houston Public Library Foundation. She joined the foundation in 2016 and is establishing effective business processes and diversified fundraising practices in collaboration with an engaged board of directors. Ms. Swanson has been a nonprofit development director for over fifteen years and has conducted multi-million dollar campaigns.

Ms. Swanson received a BA in communication from the University of Houston, and her post-baccalaureate studies have focused on statistical analysis, which have led to developing campaign analytics and outcome methodologies. Ms. Swanson has served on nonprofit boards since 2001. In 2017, she became The Woman's Club of Houston's co-chair of the Program Committee.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"The Houston Public Library links people to the world, through educational, recreational, and cultural programs for persons of all ages, ethnicities, and life stages. Library programs exist through the generosity of donors who share our collective belief in the transformational power of lifelong learning.

The City of Houston budget supports library staff salaries and library facilities but does not fund any of the library's programs. Philanthropic support is essential. Critical programs include Early Childhood Education, Learning LINK, Workforce Development, Café College, Tech LINK, Literacy & more.

Library staff are amazing in how they structure their programs for maximum effect on limited funds. Every dollar raised makes a difference for real people, right here in Houston.
"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Licia Green - Ellis

The Waterman Steele Group

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?