The Morristown Centennial Library welcomes many types of donations. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance
to citizens making donations to the Library.
The Morristown Centennial Library may receive donations, bequests, endowments, memorials, planned giving and trusts.
Restricted donations are those to which the donor has defined specific terms, conditions and purposes. Unrestricted
donations are those to which the donor has not specified terms, conditions or purposes.
- Bequest: A donation of assets made at death by an individual through a will or trust.
- Donation: A voluntary transfer of property or money without the expectation that any benefit will accrue
to the donor or anyone designated by the donor.
- Donor: An individual, organization, foundation or business that makes a monetary or in-kind contribution
to the Library.
- Endowment: A donation providing for the continuing support or maintenance of the Library.
- Fund: Used variously to denote the vehicle for securing contributions; the goal of a capital campaign;
goals of a special program or project; or a philanthropic foundation.
- Fundraising: The process of securing additional income through donations to support Library services
- Memorial: A donation made to perpetuate the memory of an individual. “Memorial” is not to be confused
with a gift to honor a living person.
- Planned Giving: A substantial donation, possibly in the form of a bequest, life insurance and/or
charitable annuity, which is often planned as a donation upon the death of the donor.
- Trust: A legal arrangement between a donor and a trustee, which gives management of specified
wealth to the trustee to direct income for the benefit of the Library.
- Capital Campaign: A short-term fundraising effort undertaken with a specific goal of raising
substantial funds to finance a major need of the Library, such as a building addition or a major repair project.
- Overall, donation practices must be ethical and sound and further the Library’s vision, goals, objectives and priorities. The Morristown Centennial Library will only enter into relationships determined to be in the best interest of the Library.
- All activities conducted on behalf of The Morristown Centennial Library and its collections, services or programs, and the solicitation of funds from various entities, is under the supervision and approval of the Board of Trustees. The Library Board Chair may request the assistance and consultation of the Board of Trustees or qualified staff in order to effectively plan development activities.
- The Board of Trustees reserves the right to accept or reject any donation, endowment, bequest or trust.
- The Morristown Centennial Library welcomes direct monetary donations. These funds may be used for Library materials, Library furniture, equipment or property, or to sponsor Library programs.
- Direct Monetary Donations—Unrestricted
- The Library will encourage the public to make unrestricted donations.
- If donated funds are unrestricted, they may be expended by authorization of the Board of Trustees within the scope of its statutory authority.
- Unrestricted monetary donations may be accepted for the Library. Purchases from these funds will be made by the staff.
- Direct Monetary Donations—Restricted
- If donated restricted funds are accepted, they must be expended according to the donor’s conditions.
- Contributions toward subscriptions must be made with funds to cover a two-year commitment.
- Donation of Library Materials
- All materials donated will be evaluated for acceptance by staff. Donations must be outright and
- The staff will determine which materials to add to the collection. Those items not added may be offered
for sale, utilized for promotional purposes, or transferred to other institutions. Unsuitable items
will be discarded.
- The library will not assign financial value to any gift or donation made.
- In-Kind Donations
- The Library may accept in-kind donations such as merchandise coupons or complimentary admissions in support of
- The Library may accept donations of books, art or other items when the following conditions are met:
- Donations of books, art or other items must be unconditional, transferring ownership and all the
rights of ownership to the Library. Donations are accepted only with the understanding that the
Library has the right to determine retention, location, and other considerations relating to the
use or disposition of the gifts. The Library may sell the item for value and use the proceeds
for any purpose appropriate to the Library’s vision. The Library may transfer ownership to any
other agency it deems appropriate.
- If a donation is proposed during design or construction of a new building, the Library will
consult with the architect and/or the interior designer working on the building to determine whether
the gift is appropriate to the facility and whether the Library will accept the donation.
- If a donation is proposed after a facility has opened, the proposal will be reviewed by a committee
consisting of one Library Board member, two Library staff members and individual(s) with expertise in
appropriate field. The committee will be convened as needed and will be selected by the chair of the
Library Board of Trustees on an ad hoc basis. The decision of the ad hoc committee may be appealed
to the Board of Trustees, whose decision shall be final.
- Donations made to a Capital Campaign that are pledged over more than a single year or a single payment
are not to exceed 3 years in duration without explicit consent of the Library Board of Trustees.
- All publications, conversations, practices and agreements regarding donations shall be truthful, fair
and kept confidential to the degree agreed upon.
- Trustees, employees and/or volunteers may not make any promise to a donor, nor expect any favoritism
from a donor, nor agree to any donor-directed changes in the vision, policies, services, collections, or
programs of the Library as a result of a solicitation or contribution.
- All funds raised will be used for the purpose for which they were raised. All contributors have the
right to obtain complete and timely information on how their donation was/will be used.
- Relationships or agreements must maintain the Library’s principle of intellectual freedom, safeguard
the Library’s equity of access, support the Library’s policies against discrimination and assuring user
- The Library will adhere to all local, state and federal statues or mandates relating to municipal
entities, charitable organizations and not-for-profit corporations.
- The Library will follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) relating to the accounting
and crediting of all contributions.
- The Library reserves the right to terminate an existing agreement or arrangement should conditions
arise during the life of the agreement which would result in it conflicting with the best interest of
- All donors are to be treated with respect and with the degree of confidentiality they desire.
- Donors are to be provided with honest and accurate information about the Library’s mission,
services, programs and status upon request.
- While it is important that the Trustees remain aware that there may be tax provisions relating
to contributions, the Library must not represent itself as representing the donor in any transaction
and should stipulate that the donor contact a professional advisor in questions of gift valuation
- Any solicitation from a library vendor must not be directly related to the business relationship
with the vendor or the vendor’s competition. Nor should any vendor be chose based on a stated or
implied contribution to the Library.
- All sponsored or donated products, materials and services must meet the standards used by the
Library in the purchase of similar materials.
- No employee will be required to wear or personally display anything with a corporate logo or
advertising, other than that of The Morristown Centennial Library.
- Donor names are public information unless the donor requests anonymity.
- The prospect and donor files (including computer databases) are the property of the
Library. A Trustee, employee or volunteer may not use or hold any published files for any
other use other than the advancement of the Library.
- Upon receipt of any donation, the Library will acknowledge it promptly. Acknowledgement of a
donation may take one of several forms, such as those listed below, at the discretion of the Library
and/or the donor.
- A special program or media campaign to announce the donation.
- Library bookplate(s) with the donor’s name.
- A small, standardized plaque placed on or near a physical object or feature in a Library building.
- Acknowledgement in a Library promotional publication, display, advertisement, Web page or banner.
- Announcement at a Library program.
- A personal letter of thanks.
Policy approved 7/8/10