Boston Public Library entrance

About

The mission of the Fund is to provide financial support to the Boston Public Library, ensuring that it remains viable, engaging, accessible, and free to all. The Fund fulfills this mission by working in partnership with the Library, donors, and other funders in supporting BPL programs and special initiatives. Support from the Fund supplements, but does not supplant, other BPL resources, including City of Boston funding.

About

Boston Public Library entrance

The mission of the Fund is to provide financial support to the Boston Public Library, ensuring that it remains viable, engaging, accessible, and free to all. The Fund fulfills this mission by working in partnership with the Library, donors, and other funders in supporting BPL programs and special initiatives. Support from the Fund supplements, but does not supplant, other BPL resources, including City of Boston funding.

Fueling Experimentation & Forging a Stronger Community

More than 170 years ago, a group of Bostonians envisioned a dynamic place of learning where people would enrich their minds and souls, advance the spirit of democracy, and discover a retreat that was free to all.

Now, a new generation of Bostonians is working to catapult the Boston Public Library into its next era. The Boston Public Library Fund fuels the experimentation and innovation necessary to ensure that our library not only addresses the broad needs of our communities, but also empowers the people of Boston to shape and realize an audacious future for our city and beyond.

The Fund isn’t about nice-to-haves. Your support positions us to experiment and bring bold new ideas to life, develop innovative services that strengthen our community, and ensure that the BPL’s world-class spaces and collections are preserved and accessible for generations. Gifts to the Fund also strengthen our efforts to transform learning for 21st-century students, honor our obligation to offer an environment where all voices are heard, and create new ways for people to immerse themselves in their passions, encounter new ideas, and broaden their horizons.

Founding Investors

The Boston Public Library Fund launches the next phase of the Library’s philanthropic endeavors and represents a new era of collaboration with the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, the Associates of the Boston Public Library, and all of the BPL’s affiliates. We are enormously grateful to the following enlightened funders for their generous commitment to the success of the Fund and steadfast belief in the Boston Public Library through their capacity-building grants.

Frequently Asked Questions

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No, the BPLF is an independent, non-profit organization, with its own volunteer board. The Fund is charged with raising funds in line with Boston Public Library priorities. It is a private 501 (c) (3) organization and its Federal Tax ID number is: 04-3150560.

The City of Boston provides essential financial support for Library operations annually. As well, the City has made major investments in Library branch renovations and upgrading physical spaces including the 2016 $78 million renovation of the Johnson building of the Central Library. We appreciate the strong support from City leadership and Boston taxpayers.

But like those who come to the Library, the BPL has bold aspirations beyond what the City can reasonably provide. Private philanthropy plays a pivotal role in transforming those aspirations into reality. A gift to the Fund supports work that turns a brilliant idea into a new pilot activity for patrons, expands existing programming to new participants and branches, brings Library treasures to the community, both in person and online, and funds new use for Library space.

Yes, the Boston Public Library Foundation was established in 1992 to raise philanthropic dollars for the Library, especially through special events and renovation campaigns.  The Foundation was one of a number of non-profit organizations that raised funds for the Library. To coordinate messaging and activities among these groups for clearer communications, the Library launched a strategic planning initiative which led to the Boston Public Library Fund, charged with leading BPL philanthropy and coordinating fundraising for the BPL.

The Boston Public Library Fund is the principal fundraising organization for the Boston Public Library. The Associates of the Boston Public Library is a separate non-profit organization that provides funding to the BPL for conservation of the Library’s Special Collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, and other items of literary, historic and cultural significance. The Citywide Friends of the Boston Public Library were founded to promote public awareness of the entire Boston Public Library system and its resources, and to further appreciation of the value of the Library as a cultural and educational asset. Additionally, the BPL is fortunate to have volunteer Friends groups at each of its 26 branches.

Gifts of all sizes are welcome and needed. Boston Public Library Fund gifts support the significant ambitions to help the Library’s leadership dream, experiment, and grow. Those aspirations are focused around three pivotal ideas: Sharing Treasures, Activating Democracy and Unlocking Opportunity. From funding after-school Homework Help in 17 branches, to supporting early literacy through Future Readers Club, to making digital Hot Spots available for loan, to the production of the BPL’s Art and Architecture brochure for visitors, contributors can make a difference.  And these are just a few of the areas where philanthropy has a positive impact at the BPL.

Yes, supporting the activities of the branches is a high priority for the Library and the Fund. The Fund accepts gifts restricted for certain purposes in line with Library priorities.

At this time branches are not accepting book donations but hope to resume in coming months.

Yes.  Please click on this Ways to Give link to find out ways to support the work of the BPL through the Fund.

We welcome the opportunity to learn more about what you would like to do.  That said, the Fund can only take on a small number of partnering projects like this each year. Please send an email detailing your fundraising opportunity to info@BPLFund.com or call Beth Barclay at 617-859-2031.

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