Jane Burgess Talks About The Future of Fundraising for HMMPL Foundation
As the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library (HMMPL) prepares to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee, we thought it prudent to talk with one of the newest members of the HMMPL Foundation Board of Director —Zionsville resident Jane Burgess—about the importance of fundraising and how the foundation is working through the current state of the economy to raise the necessary funds to support both of the HMMPL branches and its robust menu of programs and services offered by the library staff.
Exemplary Prowess in Fundraising
Burgess has resided in Zionsville for 20 years along with her husband Claude and their two children Kristin and Thomas—who went through the Zionsville Community School (ZCS) system. Burgess served on the ZCS School Board for three terms. Additionally, Burgess has served on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Boone County and is a past president of the St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild. She is also heavily involved at her church—Zionsville Presbyterian Church.
“I began my [fundraising] journey with the ZCS School Board when I was first elected in 2008,” Burgess said. It was one of the greatest opportunities and was an honor to serve our community in that way.”
A few of the highlights while serving on that board that Burgess is most proud of include initiatives such as “Strong in Every Way,” approving the multi-purpose stadium and the sponsorship of said stadium with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, and the passing of the school’s operating levy in 2012 [which was renewed in 2015].
“We [the school board] secure the most lucrative sponsorship for ZCS to offset the cost of the multi-purpose stadium,” Burgess stated. “Along with that partnership with Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, we were able to get athletic trainers and school nurses in that package. It was really exciting to be part of that [process] as well.”
While serving as president of the St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild in 2020-21, Burgess’s greatest challenge was to raise money from the guild’s primary fundraiser—The Decorator’s Show House and Gardens—amid the COVID pandemic.
“The silver lining of that [challenge] was that we rethought how we did a number of things and the way we did the show house,” Burgess recalled. “We did timed ticketing and we increased our sponsorships.
We created a ‘marketplace’ rather than a café and all of the things we did ended up making it very successful. We raised $316,000 for the Center for Nursing Excellence at Eskenazi Health—during a pandemic. It was amazing the way that the guild members, designers, contractors, and landscapers all came together and really, pulled off nothing short of an amazing accomplishment during that time.”
Burgess also spearheaded the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Boone County in 2017.
Burgess added, “We were able to raise $97,000 which was nearly the price of building a home. Habitat is near and dear to my heart. I started on that board 6 years ago and have been involved for over 20 years in different capacities. It’s important for everybody to have a place to call home and Habitat gives people a hand up—not a handout—while it’s changing the trajectories of their lives and offering a secure home environment for families.”
Growing the Foundation Alongside a Growing Population
As the HMMPL service areas continue to grow, so do the needs of the residents. The HMMPL Foundation’s focus is to grow its level of support for the HMMPL staff and the essential programs and services it offers throughout this expansion period and beyond—to secure a strong community asset for the present population and future generations.
Burgess expressed her gratitude for being invited to join the HMMPL Foundation Board and is excited to bring her board and fundraising experience to the table to further serve the community and county in which she resides.
“I was very honored to be asked to join [the HMMPL Foundation Board] because I do think that the library is such an important part of the community,” Burgess expressed. “The staff is phenomenal, truly, and it really was an easy and natural transition to go from serving on the ZCS School Board to being part of the foundation board. Both serve our community; our children and families and I think it’s an exciting time in the life of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library.”
Burgess continued, “The foundation nurtures the creativity and ingenuity of the staff. The foundation is a mechanism that allows us to grant the HMMPL staff the monetary needs that make it possible for our staff to implement their innovative ideas. We are so excited to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the Book Ball event will bring the community together for something so positive.”
Fundraising Amid Global Economic Uncertainty
Along with experience, Burgess brings to the foundation board a proven track record of successful fundraising amid challenging times. When asked to share her thoughts on fundraising for not just one facility but for two facilities and how the HMMPL Foundation perceives fundraising in the current economic climate, Burgess stated, “What I have perpetually seen in our community is its generosity. People support the causes and organizations that they believe in. Certainly, these are challenging financial times right now. I also believe that people still have the spirit of generosity for the causes they believe in. That’s just the kind of community that we live in. I’m always amazed at how people in our community are willing to step up and do whatever is needed. We collectively work together to meet the goals.”
We spoke with the co-presidents of the HMMPL Foundation Catherine “Cathy” Coscia and LeeAnn Biggs about what they believe Burgess brings to the foundation board.
“I’ve worked with Jane for over 20 years in many different volunteer capacities from Sunday school at church—when our kids were the same age—to St. Margaret’s [Guild],” Coscia shared. “I’ve watched Jane prepare for school board meetings and we’ve been elders together at ZPC. Jane brings all those strengths to the foundation board and her experiences illustrate her deep involvement in the community. Her being willing to work on the foundation board is very impactful.”
Biggs concluded, “Our children were in the same graduating class at Zionsville Community High School. So, I’ve known her all these years and we did deep dives into show choir things and activities at the school. Because of her service to the community, and because I’ve always had a positive experience working with Jane, I am—personally—very glad that she joined the foundation board.”
For more information on the HMMPL Foundation Board and the upcoming Diamond Jubilee Book Ball, visit hmmplfoundation.org.