Philanthropy Supporting Government: An Analysis of Local Library Funding


  • Alicia Schatteman Northern Illinois University
  • Ben Bingle Northern Illinois University



libraries, philanthropy, local government


Although a public agency, many libraries seek additional resources beyond municipal taxes.  This paper explores library funding and their reliance on philanthropic revenue to supplement public tax dollars. Data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Survey are combined with financial information from library friends and foundation nonprofit organizations to understand the extent to which public libraries in Illinois are supported by philanthropic funds. A survey of library directors is used to provide additional context. The findings suggest a geographic disparity in finances among libraries in Illinois and the need for new theories to explain “donation over taxation.”

Author Biographies

Alicia Schatteman, Northern Illinois University

Dr. Schatteman is an Assistant Professor of nonprofit management in the Department of Public Administration and the Center for NGO Leadership and Development in the School of Public and Global Affairs at Northern Illinois University.  She received her Ph.D. from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and a Master’s in Communications Management from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.  She teaches, consults, and conducts research in the areas of nonprofit strategic planning, financial management, and information technology management.

Ben Bingle, Northern Illinois University

Mr. Bingle is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science and the Outreach Coordinator and an Instructor with the Center for NGO Leadership Development in the School of Public and Global Affairs at Northern Illinois University.  He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Drake University.






Research Articles