Donor Recognition

4.6 Donor Recognition Policy

Donor recognition is a crucial component of fundraising. Through proper recognition, the Evanston Public Library can acknowledge financial support in a consistent and meaningful way, steward existing donors, and cultivate new relationships. Visible and tangible recognition for gifts allows the Evanston Public Library to recognize its most generous donors and provides examples of generosity for others. The Evanston Public Library will, however, respect and abide by a donor’s wish to remain anonymous.

The Library Director and his designees are responsible for all donor recognition, and for the consistent implementation of these policies.

The library administration and volunteers will use the donor recognition policy to guide recognition discussions with prospective donors.


4.6.1 Donor Recognition Objectives

The donor recognition policy is intended to:

•    Provide appropriate, timely and donor-centered recognition of all charitable donations
•    Cultivate future support among the current donor base
•    Stimulate interest and support among potential donors


4.6.2 General Recognition Practices

Donors to Evanston Public Library will be offered the opportunity to name physical spaces, objects, programs and endowment funds. The level of gift required will be determined by the Board and specified on a menu of giving opportunities. During specific campaigns the Campaign Steering Committee may recommend a list of naming opportunities to the Board for its consideration and approval.

The period of time a donor’s name will be attached to a specific space or program will be negotiated at the time the gift is made. This period may be in perpetuity, a designated number of years or the lifetime of the donor(s).

Evanston Public Library will take appropriate means to ensure that all programs and facilities are maintained at the highest standard of excellence through annual operating support, supplemented by endowment funds.

Recognition policies apply to gifts or pledges received or committed from individuals, corporations, foundations and/or selected government entities recognized as a single donor. Gifts from a group of family members may be recognized for the combined total of gifts from the individual family members. Individuals will be recognized for gifts received from corporations to match their personal contribution. This may include a gift from a privately held company owned by the individual or a family foundation.

In cases where support is received from a corporation or government agency composed of numerous individuals, recognition will be given to the corporation or government agency rather than the numerous individuals in the organization, unless otherwise negotiated as part of the gift agreement.

Gifts received in full will be recognized for the amount received. Gifts pledged over a period of five years or less will be recognized at the full commitment amount upon receipt of appropriate gift documentation.

Gifts of stock will be valued according to Evanston Public Library’s gift accounting policies. The recognition level will be determined by the Administrative Services Manager or his/her designee.

Deferred revocable gifts from which funds will be received at a future date will be recorded as future expectancies of Evanston Public Library at the value established in writing by the donor through a bequest intention form, a deferred pledge agreement, a contract to make a will, a letter, or a copy of appropriate sections of the will or of the insurance or trust document, etc. Such revocable gift commitments will be permanently commemorated, subject to the donor’s specific request and intent, only when the funds are irrevocably committed to Evanston Public Library or when the gift matures.

Only gifts accepted in accordance with Evanston Public Library’s gift acceptance guidelines will qualify for recognition.

Due to the unique nature of donor relationships, exceptions to the stated recognition policy may be appropriate and may be approved by the Library Board. Considerations will include the programmatic and aesthetic standards of Evanston Public Library, needs of the Library’s constituencies, the financial viability of the institution and the contributions and intention of donors, past and present.

4.6.3 Annual Giving

Recognition will be in proportion to the value of the contribution, whether the gift is unrestricted or designated for a particular program. A donor’s recognition level for annual giving will be based on the total of operating gifts, regardless of designation. Donor recognition will honor individual donor’s wishes regarding confidentiality; donors requesting anonymity for specific gifts or for all their giving will be omitted from displays and publication. Grants from foundations and corporations for program support or general operating support will be recognized as gifts to the annual campaign in the fiscal year they are received

Gifts in kind will be recognized separately from monetary gifts except in instances where the fair market value of the in-kind gift is clearly established by a receipt or appraisal. In those instances, the gift will be recognized at its fair market value
Program or Event Sponsorships will be recognized based on the sponsorship amount less the cost of sponsor benefits and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

4.6.4 Physical Space Recognition
Requirements for physical recognition of gifts to Evanston Public Library will be approved by the Library Board, based on factors including, but not limited to, the prominence, size and location of spaces and facilities, gift size and pledge payment period, and donor interests. Requirements may be revised as appropriate to reflect institutional priorities and to promote philanthropic support for Evanston Public Library’s fund raising programs. Exceptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Library Board.

The wording on physical recognition plaques will be developed collaboratively by Evanston Public Library staff and each respective benefactor to ensure consistency and appropriateness. The Library encourages consistency in plaque wording length and plaque size. Physical recognition may memorialize or honor an individual or individuals, or other entity, as desired by a donor and approved by Evanston Public Library.

Evanston Public Library will provide physical donor recognition for contributions upon receipt of a gift or appropriate gift documentation. Gifts of the level required to name spaces, (a minimum of $25,000) may be recognized in appropriate site-specific locations in addition to a centralized benefactor recognition display. In addition, these gifts may be recognized on Library directional signage as appropriate.

Other forms of physical recognition may be developed as deemed appropriate by the Library based on extraordinary support. In some cases, and for gifts of particular significance, recognition of a donor may be provided on Evanston Public Library signage beyond a site-specific plaque. Named spaces may be offered only if the facility funded is exclusive in nature and does not create confusion on the part of staff and visitors. Recognition on signage may not apply if the naming detracts from the stated purpose of the facility.

Gifts from donors toward facilities may be recognized through plaques placed in appropriate site-specific locations. For example, the Jane Smith Reference Desk or the Reference Desk – funded by a generous gift from Jane Smith.

4.6.5 Program Recognition
Benefactors of gifts to name programs or initiatives at the minimum gift level established for physical recognition may receive recognition in the physical space of the Library and/or in the annual report.

4.6.6 Endowment Recognition
Benefactors of endowment gifts may be recognized through the establishment of named funds if the fund will maintain the minimum qualifying gift value ($50,000) for a period of five years or more.

Gifts of less than $50,000 to endowment will be placed in the unrestricted endowment account. Donors will be recognized at the level appropriate with their gift.

4.6.7 Renaming Procedures
When it is necessary for Evanston Public Library to renovate, enhance or relocate a space or program that has previously been named, Evanston Public Library will give the donor(s):

the right of first refusal to make an additional gift to Evanston Public Library to name the new space or program (the amount requested for the new gift being the naming “price” for the new project less the value of the original gift); OR the opportunity to name another space at Evanston Public Library comparably priced at the value of the original gift; OR the opportunity to have the original gift recognized on a plaque within or near the location of their original named space.
If Evanston Public Library is unable to contact the donors or their heirs after reasonable attempts, the Board of Trustees or its duly designated committee and the Library Director of Evanston Public Library, in consultation with the Administrative Services Manager, will determine the most appropriate means of recognizing the original gift. Evanston Public Library retains the right to seek additional donors in cases where further support from the original donor is not possible, and associate the name(s) of the new donor to the renovated facility along with the name of the original donors.

4.6.8 Donor Recognition Boards
Donor recognition boards or other recognition vehicles will be created for Lifetime Giving, Annual Giving and Campaign Giving and will be placed in a centralized location to maximize impact and visibility. Individual, corporate, foundation, government and other benefactors will be recognized on the donor recognition boards according to the level of their respective support.

4.6.9 Publications

Evanston Public Library may publish additional donor lists or rosters as deemed appropriate.

Other publications, such as newsletters and brochures, may provide additional opportunities for donor recognition. When appropriate, donors may be recognized in publications that feature information on facilities or endowments they have supported.

All anonymous donors will be collectively listed as anonymous under their specific levels and areas of support.

4.6.10 Other Recognition
For gifts of particular significance, recognition in publications and media such as newspaper, magazines, television, etc. may be actively sought on behalf of Evanston Public Library and the donor with the permission of the donor. Both Evanston Public Library’s administration and the donor will approve press releases for gifts.

Evanston Public Library may organize and conduct recognition events to honor donors whose support of Evanston Public Library is deemed extraordinary by the Library’s Board of Trustees.

4.6.11 Awards and Gifts
Commemorative objects of minimum value may be distributed to donors and volunteers to reflect appreciation for their support.

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