BLOOMFIELD, NJ – This year, the moniker ‘Giving Tuesday’ takes on a whole new level of importance.

The inaugural #GivingTuesday campaign by The Bloomfield Public Library Foundation, debuting today, December 1, will help facilitate private giving to enable Bloomfield Public Library the ability to handle the mounting needs of its community.

“Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving to non-profits through philanthropic donations,” Bloomfield Councilwoman Jenny Mundell told TAP.  “It follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday and encourages support for nonprofits that rely on this kind of support to supplement their budgets.”

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Now in month number nine of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strain on the Library’s services and programs is at an all-time high, and to address those growing needs, additional funds are required to meet the demands.

“The Bloomfield Public Library Foundation, which was approved as a 501(c)(3) organization last year, is raising money to support programs and services of the Library,” explained Mundell, who serves as Township Council liaison to Bloomfield Public Library Board of Trustees.  “The funds raised are unrestricted, which means they will be used where need is most pressing, but all donations support the library and its mission directly.  This year, the Foundation decided to use the opportunity of Giving Tuesday to gain exposure and give the community an opportunity to help grow our local library, which already does so much for us.”

Created in 2012 as a day to encourage people to do good, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities by inspiring them to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.  Today is the day to heighten awareness of local charities, including the Library Foundation.

“When one makes a philanthropic contribution to a non-profit, no matter the amount, one is signaling to that organization that they believe in the organization’s work, mission and staff,” said Mundell.  “The library is an essential part of our community and has not been simply a repository for books for some time, but is a place where a community is built, where residents can always go to find resources, have questions answered, and so much more.  The Foundation supports these efforts and is committed to the future of our town.  They have developed a structure  that will ensure transparency and good stewardship of the donations it receives.”

To date in 2020, donations to the Foundation have assisted the Library in responding to community needs during the pandemic by providing capital for expanding the Library’s free Wi-Fi services outside the building, into the State Street Lot, the Library courtyard, and the Town Green.

The Foundation also sponsored pilot programs for new Library patron services, including Tutor.com and Ancestry.com Library Edition, while significantly expanding the Library’s  Museum Pass program, which provides patrons with free admittance to local New Jersey and New York City museums on a check-out basis.

The Foundation is currently the steward for capital bequests to fund a restoration of the beloved Children’s Library.

“The Bloomfield Library is a free and public service,” Mundell added.  “All residents are encouraged to get a library card and take advantage of all the library has to offer at no cost to them, ever. 

The Bloomfield Public Library Foundation was established in 2018 to secure and manage donations from individuals, businesses and private foundations that believe in the life-changing power of the Library and understand that the best way to address the growing needs of the community is to provide it with support above and beyond municipal budget constraints.

“In the last year, we’ve focused a great deal on being able to provide our community with a wide variety of secure and easy-to-use online donation tools so that giving is convenient for anyone that wishes to make a one-time or recurring gift to support the Library,” said Mollie Smith, President and co-founder of the BPL Foundation.  “The Foundation is even enrolled in the Amazon Smile Program and is also eligible for corporate and employer matching programs.”

Ways to donate to the Bloomfield Public Library Foundation include online payments through the Library and Foundation's Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/BloomfieldPublicLibraryNJ, and the Foundation’s website at www.bplnjfoundation.org via bank account, with all major credit cards and payment services including Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal.

“The Bloomfield Public Library Foundation has been instrumental in providing the township with additional services,” Bloomfield Public Library Director Holly Belli said.  “The Library is grateful for their efforts and the donations of any size that people would like to give.”

Supporters can also donate via the Foundation’s Text-to-Donate feature by sending the text message “GIVEBPL#GT” to 44-321.  Donors will receive an immediate response with a secure online link for a seamless mobile giving experience.

Check and money order donations can be made payable to ‘The Bloomfield Public Library Foundation’ and be mailed to 90 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003.