• Friends of PG Library announce library foundation

    The board of the Friends of the Pacific Grove Library has voted to establish a PG Library Foundation for the purpose of enhancing and expanding library programs and services using a relatively stable source of funding. The primary function will be to secure financial and in-kind donations for programs, services, collections and capital projects.

    “The foundation will serve primarily as an endowment fund for the Library.  It offers donors a familiar and reliable vehicle for tax-deductible contributions in support of the Library,” said Judy Archibald of Friends of the Library.

    A separate board of directors will be appointed to manage the foundation, though it will be part of the Friends organization. The Friends of the Library will continue to raise funds for specific Library projects, to promote Library programs and services and to cooperate with the Library in developing library services and facilities for the community.

    The Library Foundation, functioning primarily as an endowment fund, will likely give about 5 percent of its holdings per year to the Library. The fund will be carefully managed to protect the real purchasing power of the endowment over time. With $1,000,000 in assets the Foundation could give about $50,000 to the Library and with $2,000,000 in assets about $100,000 could be available.

    “Obviously it will take some time to build up the assets of the Foundation in order to make significant gifts to the Library,” Archibald pointed out.

    “This is a plan to provide long term support for the Library,” she pointed out. The City Council will begin budget discussions soon, with a budget update and initial reports coming to them in late February.

    Funds raised by the foundation are in addition to Library tax-supported funding and do not replace public support.

    Last year, the City provided nearly $500,000 to fund the Library, down from previous years but more than staff had initially recommended. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the budget was $602,000. Revenue estimates, says the city’s finance department, are just beginning.

    By raising private dollars the Library Foundation hopes to stretch public dollars. “Donors may have a strong belief in the value of the Library yet do not wish to give philanthropic gifts to a public entity. They may be more comfortable giving to a non-profit, tax-exempt private organization such as the Library Foundation,” said Archibald. During the planning stages for Measure Q, the Library funding measure which was narrowly defeated in November, it was learned that many voters were uncomfortable donating money to the City for fear it would not be used as earmarked, even though Measure Q was a special parcel tax and funds could only have been used for the Library.

    The Library Foundation is the beneficiary of several bequests which total approximately $500,000. The largest bequest to date has come from former Pacific Grove resident Erna Morris who bequeathed half of her estate. Planning for fund raising projects to increase the size of the endowment fund will begin immediately.

    There is a separate fund for building improvements, established when there were discussions about expanding the footprint of the library. When plans fell through, many  donors elected to leave the fund intact though some chose to retrieve their donations.

    – Judy Archibald contributed to this story in large part.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 14, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News


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