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Give the Gift of Books to Children in Your County

Steps to Become An Affiliate

Step 1: Check Availability 

If you’re interested in starting an affiliate program for the children in your community, first check to see if the Imagination Library is already offered in your community. 


  • What do you need to consider to get started?

    • Partnering with a Non-profit (501c3):

      • We mail IL books at special non-profit mailing rates, and a non-profit partner must be involved to qualify for these rates.

    • Registration & Enrollment Plans:

      • How will your organization grow enrollment? The Imagination Library of Colorado staff can help you grow your program sustainably.

    • Funding: 

      • You will need to identify financial support to sustainably cover the wholesale cost of the books and mailing. You will need to identify your service area and eligible 0-5 population. 


  • How much funding do you need for an Imagination Library program?

    • Decide on the geographical area you think you would like to cover – such as a county, city, school district or zip code(s). The goal of Imagination Library of Colorado, and the State of Colorado is to have one affiliate in each of Colorado’s 64 counties so that all children in Colorado have access to enroll in DPIL

    • Find the 0-5 population from a census website. Try FactFinder

    • Enter the 0-5 population into the Cost Estimator on the DPIL website. (DPIL utilizes the most current Census data)

    • The State of Colorado passed legislation subsidizing the cost of the monthly book invoice at 50%. 


  • Common financial supporters/non-profit partner:

    • Service Clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Junior League, etc.)

    • Friends of the Library

    • Local foundations

    • Local businesses

    • Chambers of Commerce

    • Individual donors

    • School Districts

    • Community Foundation

    • Fiscal Agents

    • Start your own 501c3


Step 2: Putting the Pieces in place

  • Contact the Imagination Library of Colorado staff at to discuss your options

    • Talk through service area & cost 

    • Work with ILCO and connect with Pam Hunsaker, DPIL Regional Director to complete the DPIL Affiliate Memorandum of Agreement

    • Get the ILCO sample Memorandum of Agreement and New Affiliate Information Sheet – the two documents that we’ll put in place to outline our relationship and capture key information


NOTE: all Colorado affiliates must complete a Colorado and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) Memorandum of Agreement


Step 3: Build your team

Key roles to consider:

  • Chairperson – a person to coordinate the effort

  • Fundraising – to sustainably identify and collect local funds

  • Enrollment – plan where and how to enroll children, oversee registration brochure distribution (if using) and marketing campaigns

  • Database – entering new registrations, accepting pending online registrations, updating addresses, utilizing reports in the Book Order System (BOS)

  • Community Outreach – collaborate with other local organizations and coalitions. Also may collect undeliverable books from your local post office

  • Family Engagement – plans efforts to encourage parents to better engage their children through DPIL books and read more often


*TIP – Also consider engaging other community partners to build coalitions and collective impact strategies. Ask your Regional Director for help with ideas and informative docs.


Step 4: Fundraising

  • Budget

    • Engage your support team for contacts

    • Consider putting together an advisory council to assist

    • Identify potential funding partners and begin meeting with them


*NOTE– At this point you should have a good plan outlined: an idea of the funds you will need, community details/facts and partners who are willing to help – this will all help make your ask more clear and direct.


Step 5: Complete and Submit Required Affiliate Documents

  • Return completed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and New Affiliate Information Sheet to Colorado’s Director of Affiliate Relations and the MOA to the DPIL. Affiliate Regional Director

  • Submit USPS form 3623 or 3624 (if non-profit hasn’t already done so) to local post office and return the non-profit authorization code to your Regional Director

  • You'll receive access to the Book Order System to learn the enrollment and mailing process


Step 6: Make Final Preparations and Launch!



Receive your Book Order System login information and operations manual. Work with Colorado’s Director of Affiliate Relations to answer any questions and provide support to your organization. The database is not difficult to manage, but does take some time to learn.



You will need to update your profile on the BOS portal so that the book return labels are correct, parents can contact you to edit or add registrations. You may include the name of your sponsor on the monthly labels if you choose. (recommended)



You may now enter registrations into the BOS. Email us to switch to Operating status when you are ready to begin accepting online registrations and start mailing books!



Your affiliate information will be able to be accessed via the Imagination Library national website. You aren’t required to create, pay for, host your own website. Please contact ILCO for more information.  



Set up a mail chimp account so that your organization can communicate with parents. While you are restricted from ever asking parents for donations, you can communicate program information, community events and resources, or share exciting milestones. 



Think about planning a launch event to build awareness and excitement. Consider working with ILCO to plan outreach and awareness. 



Utilize available resources:

  • Promotional materials available via DPIL & ILCO

  • Grant writing advice, Director of Operations & Grants 

  • Colorado’s Director of Affiliate Relations 

  • Imagination Library Affiliate Network 

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