The Lewes Public Library will host an event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30, to celebrate the successful launch of its new underwriters endowment fund.
The public is invited to attend and enjoy free fall treats including cookies and apple cider. The first 100 visitors will receive a surprise gift.
Establishing the underwriters endowment fund marks the final step in the long-term success story of Lewes’ state-of-the-art library facility.
“Now that the building is fully paid for, our final task is to ensure the library will be maintained and supported in the long term. Reliable income generated by the endowment will allow the library to truly achieve a greater measure of financial security,” said Chanta Wilkinson, library board president.
The Lewes Public Library receives only half of its funding each year from government sources. The rest must be raised by the library and its Friends group through multiple fundraising efforts. “Most people don’t realize how much of our budget – and our ability to serve the community – relies on successful annual fundraising,” said Lea Rosell, Lewes Public Library director. “It is a huge undertaking every year for our staff and volunteers.”
Government funding for the library is also subject to change, depending on budgets. “This leaves the library vulnerable in times of economic downturn and disruption,” said Rosell. “The endowment will not only provide greater financial independence and long-term stability, but it will also allow us to focus our efforts on serving patrons, delivering exceptional programs and providing essential resources for the community, all of which is done at no charge.”
The underwriters endowment fund has established a $5 million fundraising goal over five years. Earnings will be used for board-approved operating expenses such as books and materials, programs, staff salaries, building operations and educational activities. The fund was inaugurated with a generous donation of $50,000 from Lewes residents Gavin and Lou Braithwaite.
“Giving to an endowment is a forever gift, since the amount donated is permanently invested, and only the earnings are spent to help run the library,” said Gavin Braithwaite. “By making this gift, we want to ensure future generations will benefit from something that has meant so much to us.”
Supporting the underwriters endowment fund provides a great way for people to support the library they love. Library staff and volunteers look forward to welcoming donors in the coming year at the many events it hosts or just browsing in the stacks.
Donations to the endowment fund may be made all at once, pledged over a period of one to five years, or through a bequest. As individuals engage in year-end tax planning, it is a great time to consider qualified charitable distributions from individual retirement accounts.
For more information or to make a contribution, go to lewes.lib.de.us and click on Support Us – Underwriters Endowment Fund, or contact library Development Director Rebecca Lowe at Rebecca.Lowe@lib.de.us or 302-645-2733.