The Scarborough Public Library welcomes gifts of library materials, money, or real property. These gifts help enrich and improve public library resources. Gifts and donations may be made to the Library in a number of ways: to the Annual Fund, Gifts and Memorials Fund, Building Expansion Fund, or Library Endowment Fund, or through the gift of tangible objects and ephemera. The Scarborough Public Library Corporation is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. Donations to the Library are generally tax deductible.

 The Friends of the Scarborough Library (FOSL) is a separate 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that supports the Library through its advocacy and its commitment to provide supplemental funding in support of the Library's endowment, programming, and collections. Donations, such as used books, which may not be acceptable to the Library, may be made to the Friends and will be used solely to support the Library and its programs. Donations to the Friends are generally tax deductible.

Types of Acceptable Gifts


Cash is acceptable in the form of currency, money orders, checks or electronic transfer (either through a wire transfer to the Library’s bank account or by a verified credit card transaction.) Checks should be made payable to “Scarborough Public Library.”

Tangible Objects

Books or non-book materials, specialized collections, paintings, prints, maps, clipping files and ephemera may be given to the library provided the stipulations about such gifts are acceptable to the Library Board.

Individual donations to the collection are accepted with the understanding that the library applies the same criteria for evaluating gift material as it applies to purchased material. Gifts will be withdrawn in the same manner as purchased material. The library does not accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.

The library staff will review all gifts prior to their receipt to determine their usefulness and suitability. Any expenses that might be incurred by accepting the donation will also be noted. With the exception of individual or accumulations of collection materials, a decision to accept a tangible gift will be made on an individual basis by the Library Board based on the recommendation of the Library Director.

The donor is advised to see professional financial counsel on the tax consequences of the donation. If IRS rules require an appraisal, it will be at the donor’s expense.


The Library accepts publicly traded securities. It is preferred that donors electronically transfer marketable securities directly to the Library’s local brokerage account. It is the Library’s policy to sell all securities on receipt. The value of the gift will be calculated based on the mean share price between the high and low selling prices quoted on the day the stock is transferred to the Library or consistent with most recent IRS regulations.

Life Insurance

Donors are encouraged to name the Scarborough Public Library as beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of their life insurance policies. Donors may also apply for a policy that would be issued with the Library as owner and beneficiary; the donor pays premiums to the Library which pays them to the insurer.

Other Gift Types

Gifts of real estate, gifts in-kind, non-marketable securities or other gifts requiring appraisals or special processing are subject to the review of the Board of Trustees before acceptance. Deferred gifts subject to income interest, such as trusts annuities, pooled income funds, etc., are also subject to Board review.

Library Accounts

To give the Library maximum flexibility in meeting patron needs, donors making financial contributions are encouraged to do so on an unrestricted basis. Any such unrestricted gift may be deposited in any of the funds described below at the discretion of the Library Board. Alternatively, donors may direct their gift to one or more of the following accounts: 

Annual Fund

the Library Board and Library Director will raise money for the Annual Fund through community-wide appeals and through direct solicitation of individuals, corporations, and foundations. Donations to this fund shall be unrestricted unless a specific condition is stated by the donor. Acknowledgement of gifts to the Annual Fund shall be published in the Library newsletter.

Donations may be made to the Fund at any time during the year with the understanding that these donations may be carried over to the next fiscal year.

Library Building Fund

Monies from this fund shall be expended for planning, feasibility studies, fundraising, construction or other related costs as determined by the Library Board except where funds carry donor restrictions.

Gifts and Memorials

The Library accepts monetary donations, bequests, annuities, and stocks and bonds for the purchase of collection materials, furnishings and fixtures, special programming, or area of interest of the donor or grant maker. Funds may be given as an outright gift, in memory of, or in honor of individuals. Memorial books or other library materials are designated by a special bookplate. Gifts of furnishings and equipment may be identified with a small plaque.

Any “gifts and memorials” received by the Library that are not restricted by the donor may be designated for a specific fund or purpose by the Library Board. Donations may be made to this fund at any time. Expenditures from these funds do not require prior approval of the Library Board if they meet the donor’s designated purpose. Donations to this fund are not intended to replace regularly budgeted library expenditures.

Library Endowment Fund

Donations directed by the donor to the “Endowment” will be added to the Centennial Endowment Fund unless another sub-account is specified. The Centennial Endowment is permanently restricted and no invasion of principal is permitted. Earnings from this account will be reinvested until a $1 million goal is reached. Upon reaching that goal, the earnings may be made available as deemed appropriate by the Library Board in the Endowment Fund policy.

Discretionary Investment Fund

The Discretionary Investment Fund is a “board designated unrestricted fund.”  This means the Board has designated these funds to be an investment account, which can be utilized, as the Board sees fit.
Related documents:
Endowment Fund Policy
Building Expansion Fund Policy
Discretionary Investment Fund Policy
Investment Policy

Adopted April 20, 2000
Revised July 18, 2002, April 24, 2007
Revised December 2023