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Board Policy 190: Gifts, Donations, Sponsorships, and Fundraising

The Monterey Public Library welcomes and encourages gifts from individuals, groups, foundations, and corporations for the purpose of enhancing Library services to customers and the community.

The Board of Library Trustees reaffirms that it is the responsibility of the City to support basic Library services with General Fund revenues. At the same time, many valuable acquisitions, programs, and services are possible only with community support in the form of gifts, donations and sponsorships. For this reason, the Board may initiate or support a variety of fundraising activities both for specific Library programs and for Library services in general.

The Board and staff will take steps to ensure that donations, donor recognition programs, and fundraising activities are consistent with the Library mission and do not inappropriately affect Library service priorities or the balance of topics and viewpoints in Library collections.

1. Definitions

A gift or donation is defined as a voluntary transfer of property to the Library, made without expectation that any benefit will accrue to the donor or anyone designated by the donor. Gifts to the Library are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial exchange whereby the sponsor receives recognition or other benefits of reciprocal value for contributions to the Library.

The scope of this policy includes the following types of gifts:

  1. Money
  2. Securities, other financial instruments, and real property
  3. Planned gifts such as bequests and endowments
  4. Books, audiovisual materials, and archival collections or materials for addition to the Library collection
  5. Art
  6. Equipment or other in-kind products or services

Undesignated gifts may be used for any purpose the Board or Library staff selects following established policies and procedures. Designated gifts are restricted to a specific use by the donor in writing and accepted for this use by the Library.

2. Gifts or bequests of money, financial instruments, and real property

Individuals or groups may choose to support the Library through donations or bequests to the Library Trust Fund, the Monterey Public Library Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, or independent organizations such as the Friends of the Monterey Public Library.

The Library Trust Fund is a City of Monterey fund established by Article 7 of the City Charter. General donations to Monterey Public Library and to the City of Monterey designated for the Library are deposited in the Trust Fund. Donations, devises, and bequests of cash and any property that can be liquidated before transfer to the City can be accepted by the Trust Fund. The City may be able to accommodate donors who wish to give or will property other than cash to the Trust Fund.

Designated donations to the Trust Fund will be accepted if the Board or designated staff determine that the use to which the gift is restricted is or will be consistent with the mission and priorities of the Library and will not impose undue costs in staff time or other resources.  Designated donations to support the Library collection are discussed in section 3 below.

The City Council appropriates monies from the Library Trust Fund at the request of the Board in accordance with its Charter authority and Policy 210: Use of the Trust Fund.

The Monterey Public Library Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County was established to benefit Library services in the City of Monterey. The Fund accepts a wide variety of gifts, bequests, and devises by arrangement with Foundation staff. Available proceeds from the fund under Foundation policies are expended or reinvested by authority of the Board of Library Trustees.

Independent organizations may accept donations to support the Library. Third party organizations' solicitation, acceptance, and allocation of gifts are governed by their own bylaws and procedures, but gifts from such organizations to the Library are accepted under the terms of this policy. The Library does not endorse independent organizations, programs, and fundraising activities except by specific action of the Board.

3. Gifts to support Library collections

The Library accepts donations to the Library Trust Fund designated for purchase of materials for the collection. Donations may be designated for specific titles or types of materials, including nonrefundable donations to sponsor magazine or newspaper subscriptions. However, since all materials for the Library collection are selected based on Policy 401: Collection Development, gifts designated for purchase of specific titles or types of materials must at times be regretfully refused. The Library Director may establish rules and procedures for the evaluation and acceptance of donations designated for Library materials.

Gifts of books, audiovisual materials, and archival collections or materials for addition to the Library collection are governed by Policy 401: Collection Development. Donors of materials for the Library collection complete a gift form, which serves as their receipt for income tax purposes. The Library does not provide an estimate of the value of materials donated. By special arrangement, the Library may assist donors of Local History Collection materials in obtaining a financial appraisal.

4. Gifts of Art

The Library may accept gifts of art for the Library building or premises. Acquisition of art is governed by Policy 430: Acquisition of Works of Art. Gifts of art must be unconditional, transferring ownership and all rights to the Library. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that the Library has the right to determine retention, location, and other considerations relating to the use or disposition of the gift. The Library will not provide an estimate of the value of materials donated.

5. Other In-Kind Donations

The Library may accept other in-kind donations if the use of the donated products or services furthers the Library mission and priorities and does not impose undue costs in staff time or other resources.

6. Sponsorship of Library programs or services

The Library may encourage and accept local business and organization sponsorship of Library programs and events to enhance the services the Library can provide to the community. Because sponsors receive recognition or other benefits of reciprocal value for contributions to the Library, receipts are not issued for sponsor contributions.

The Library reserves the right to refuse any sponsorship opportunity which in the Board's judgment is inconsistent with the Library mission and priorities. Sponsorship acceptance will take the form of a written agreement signed by authorized representatives of the sponsoring organization and the Library. Sponsorship opportunities will not be accepted if in the Board's judgment they primarily constitute advertising for a particular product or service or promotion of a particular viewpoint about issues of public concern.

7. Donor acknowledgment and recognition

The Board affirms the importance of acknowledging and recognizing the contribution of donors and donations to Library services and the community. The Library Director will establish procedures for acknowledging gifts and maintaining records of donations. The Library Director will establish programs for public recognition of donations commensurate with their value. Such recognition may include listing in print or electronic publications, plaques or other acknowledgments in Library facilities, public events, publicity, and bookplates affixed to donated materials. All public recognition will be with the concurrence of the donor.

Gifts of unusual value may be recognized by naming Library facilities, collections, or programs by arrangement with the donor. Recognition by naming must be consistent with City of Monterey Policy and approved by the Board. The Library reserves the right to refuse any naming opportunity which in the Board's judgment is inconsistent with the Library mission and priorities. Naming may recognize individuals, corporations, or other organizations, but naming opportunities will not be accepted if in the Board's judgment they primarily constitute advertising for a particular product or service or promotion of a particular viewpoint about issues of public concern.

8. Fundraising activities

The Board may establish fundraising priorities linked to planned uses of the Library Trust Fund and the Monterey Public Library Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. The Board may approve and direct staff to implement fundraising campaigns and events for specific objectives.

No individuals associated with Library fundraising activities may benefit personally from these activities. There should be no conflict of interest resulting from any acts associated with Library fundraising activities.

Fundraising activities, methods of solicitation, and communication with donors must be consistent with community outreach as well as fundraising goals and priorities. Fundraising activities should enhance community perceptions of the Library and its value to the community as a whole.

Board members, staff, and volunteers communicating with donors and prospective donors will adhere to the Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights (attached).

The fundraising activities of independent organizations supporting the Library are subject to their own policies and procedures. The Board welcomes support from such third-party organizations and encourages them to work with the Board and staff to ensure that fundraising activities and objectives are consistent with the Library mission, priorities, community outreach goals, and other fundraising efforts. The Board reserves the right to withhold approval and support for third-party fundraising programs that do not meet these objectives.

9. Authority

The Library Director maintains the authority to interpret and apply this policy and to respond to gift, donation, sponsorship, and fundraising issues and inquiries that are not specified in this policy.

Approved: 9/27/2006
Revised: 5/26/09