Endowment: Make a Big Difference


When any organization reaches the stage where it has become indispensable to the culture and has demonstrated its value over several years, it must look to the distant future and decide whether its mission and work are of such importance that the organization must both protect itself and reach a level at which it can best serve those for whom the organization was created.

Dalkey Archive Press has now reached this point, and is announcing an endowment campaign. Building upon a generous gift from the Mellon Foundation that served as the basis for what would one day be an endowment, the Press and its board are prepared to launch a campaign that will enlist support from all those who believe in the importance of literature, making great works readily available to readers, and supporting writers.

What does an endowment mean for Dalkey Archive Press?

  • First and foremost, an endowment would ensure that the Press will survive any threat that may arise in the future, whether that be from major shifts in the marketplace or in the ongoing challenges presented to the National Endowment for the Arts, a significant supporter of the Press for nearly 30 years
  • Just as importantly, though, an endowment would mean that the Press would have the ensured financial base with which to reach more readers through marketing and promotion, better serve its writers and translators, and properly compensate its staff at levels that will retain this staff for years to come

What are the goals of Dalkey Archive Press’s endowment campaign?

  • $7.5 million in endowment to improve services to readers, to fund internships and fellowship opportunities, to increase annual salaries and provide more development opportunities, to increase the level of joint programming, to finance operational expenses, to increase the remuneration of translators and authors

How would an endowment function on a year-to-year basis?

  • It would ensure a yearly income of $350,000 that would allow the Press to weather any threat
  • It would ensure that the Press could undertake ambitious audience development programs to reach more readers without having to reduce readership only to sales (annual conferences on foreign literatures, outreach programs to high schools, joint programming with universities throughout the United States and the United Kingdom to promote literatures and languages from all over the world)
  • It would allow the Press to fulfill the part of its mission that seeks to develop young people to enter the field of nonprofit publishing and to train young translators through graduate assistantships and internships
  • It would allow the Press to expand its international role as a leader in the field of nonprofit publishing and translations
  • It would allow the Press to “take risks” as it experiments with new and better ways of serving readers and writers, risks that are not possible while working within the confines of annual sales, grants, and donations

How would this endowment be protected?

  • The endowment will also be overseen by the Press’s Board of Trustees to ensure that it is used for the purposes for which it is intended

In what ways can you contribute to this endowment?

  • The Press has developed a number of means for making significant contributions to its endowment that will serve the Press and also give due recognition to the donor
  • Some donors may wish to contribute at a level that would allow a book series to be named after the donor
  • Some donors may wish to establish a new series of books at the Press that address issues that are meaningful to the donor
  • Some donors may wish to earmark contributions to benefit translators or authors
  • Some donors may want to make a bequest to the Press
  • A single donor may want to make a truly significant gift that would allow his or her name to become part of the Press’s name

Who will be likely donors to this endowment?

  • Those for whom the future of literature matters and who want to ensure that a leading nonprofit publisher will continue to make a major impact on our literary culture
  • Unconventional donors who want to make Dalkey Archive the first nonprofit literary publisher to achieve an endowment
  • Former teachers of English and foreign languages who will bequest gifts to the Press
  • Daring people who want to make a difference in literary culture and who will know that their contribution has made a unique impact on the state of literature in both the United States and throughout the world

What will such an endowment mean into the distant future?

  • One day almost all the major works of the modern and contemporary period will be housed within Dalkey Archive Press as they lose value in commercial publishing
  • The literature of these periods will be protected for future generations of readers who otherwise would not have access to them
  • Dalkey Archive Press––its publications and its programs that span the world––will be accessible to hundreds of thousands of people each year

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