Library Policies - Gifts: Financial Donations


The Gift Policy: Financial Donations of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries is as follows:

The City County Library System welcomes financial donations in any amount to support its services and programs. Options for making donations include cash gifts, bequests, and testamentary trusts for specific or general purposes. Gifts may be made to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Inc., which is a nonprofit corporation with Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 (tax deductible) status, or directly to the Santa Cruz Library Joint Powers Authority. The Library System prefers that gifts be made to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Inc.

All financial gifts to the Library System (whether direct or via the Friends) are treated as additional revenue, over and above the regular operating budget, and are expended according to the wishes of the donor if these are specified. Gifts may be made to honor or memorialize individuals or organizations. However, the Library Joint Powers Board must approve unusual conditions imposed by donors.

The Director of Libraries presents an annual report to the Library Joint Powers Board in September of each year listing the sources and expenditure of gift funds during the previous fiscal year. This report is a public document, which is available at the Library Headquarters Office on re-quest.

1. Types of Financial Gifts

Cash Gifts

The most common purpose of a cash gift is for the purchase of a book or other item. Frequently, the purchase is meant to memorialize a deceased friend or relation. The donor often specifies the subject category (and sometimes the specific title) and the Branch where the item should be located. The Library System's professional staff is glad to assist in the selection of a suitable title if none is specified. Each gift item bears a bookplate stating the name of the donor. No matter where the item is permanently located all books and other materials circulate throughout the Library System.

Donors or groups of donors wishing to raise funds to benefit the Library in any way including the establishment of specific book or other collections to honor a person, organization, event, or subject area should consult in advance with the Director of Libraries. Collection related proposals will be evaluated in terms of overall System collection needs, space available, and technical services processing required. Non-collection related proposals will be evaluated in terms of local branch and overall System needs and library resources available to support the proposal. The Di-rector of Libraries will inform the Library Joint Powers Board of such proposals. The Board will be responsible for resolving any differences that may arise between the staff and the donor group.

Procedures for establishing such special collections are outlined in Section 2 of this policy.

Bequests and Testamentary Trusts

Donors wishing to specify the Library System or the Friends of the Library as the beneficiary or residual legatee of all or portions of their estates should use the following language:

Specific Money Gifts in Will:
"I give the sum of ___ dollars ($ ___ ) [or: I give a sum equal in value to ___ (%) of the residue of my estate] [or: I give the residue of my estate] to the Santa Cruz Library Joint Powers Authority [or The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Inc.] to be used solely for library purposes, free of any estate or other taxes."

Gift of Property (Real or Personal):
"I give [describe real or personal property] to the Santa Cruz Library Joint Powers Authority solely for library purposes, free of all debts, liens or encumbrances, and free of estate or other taxes. In the event the described property is not a part of my estate at my death, the gift shall consist of cash or of other property of equivalent value to the property on the date of this Will."

Similar language may be utilized for trusts, usually by way of remainder distributions after the death of the last surviving trustor.

Donors may specify special conditions for use of such bequests, such as book or other library materials purchases, services to children, etc. In the case of gifts to the Friends of the Library, the donor may specify the Friends Endowed Fund for Library Materials, which is maintained by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

However, donors wishing to attach special conditions to such bequests are encouraged to consult with the Library System. The Library Joint Powers Authority Board reserves the right to deter-mine whether to accept bequests and trusts with extraordinary conditions.

Donors anticipating a major bequest to the Library System may also wish to consult with the Library System's legal counsel in formulating terms.

In the absence of restriction, the Library Joint Powers Board reserves the right to determine whether bequests shall be investĀ¬ed and only the income used, or the principal expended. The Library Joint Powers Board also reserves the right to determine whether to terminate conditions specified in a bequest or trust should the circumstances of the Library System change.

Bequests or the income from testamentary trusts restricted to the purchase of library materials are expended on an annual basis, and are summarized in the above-cited report by the Director of Libraries. Expenditure plans for gifts for other purposes are considered by the Library Joint Powers Authority Board on recommendation from the Director of Libraries.

2. Procedures for Establishing Special Collections

When the Director of Libraries has accepted a proposal by an individual or group to establish a special collection, responsibilities for implementation will be as follows:

  • The Library Staff will establish a Gift Account with the Friends of the Library to receive all monies donated for the collection, either directly or via the donor group, and shall make periodic reports on receipts and expenditures to the donor group's representative. The Library will also appoint a Staff Liaison to work with the donor group in selecting materials which are consonant with the group's intent and the Library's selection criteria and collection needs. The Library will purchase and process all materials, ensuring that each item purchased with donated funds bears an appropriate book plate.
  • The Donor Group will be responsible for all fund solicitation, for special publicity, and for coordinating gift acknowledgement with the Library Staff. The group shall consult with the Staff Liaison on the specific items to be purchased or accepted for the collections.

Confirmed by the Library Joint Powers Authority Board in July 1997
Revised July 2010
Reaffirmed September 2013

Last updated by ann on March 6, 2017

You Can Do That @ the Library?!

Research Family History

At the Downtown Library, there's a genealogical section that will get you started and answer a lot of your questions. Can't make it in? Try our Genealogy Research Databases.

See our Calendar, Online Catalog or Branch pages for more details and contact information.