Community libraries are the lifeblood of local towns and cities. They serve as hubs for education, leisure and socialization. However in times of fiscal distress, the finance boards of many municipalities frequently target libraries when in search of budget cuts. Therefore, establishing a perpetual, reliable, monetary base separate from the town budget is key to any library's success. This is the focus of East Lyme Library Foundation.
The East Lyme Library Foundation (ELLF) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is to administer an established endowment fund which is held in trust, invested, and expended by the Foundation for the benefit of the East Lyme Public Library. ELLF also solicits additional gifts and bequests from friends of the library in an ongoing effort to build these reserves.
The East Lyme Library Foundation (ELLF) was established in 1992 as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation by a small group of interested townspeople. Its initial purpose was to formally manage an already existing endowment that had been started many years before. Since then, ELLF has also taken on the function of fundraising. In this way, the endowment can be maintained and enhanced, thus ensuring and preserving the high quality of The East Lyme Library for generations to come.
Gifts and bequests made to the Foundation are kept separate from and should not be confused with contributions to the Library's Annual Fund Drive. Donations to the latter are for the Library's current use whereas the focus of ELLF is the future financial stability of the institution. To achieve this end, the Foundation solicits charitable gifts and bequests from civic-minded people. The principle is maintained and invested for the long term. Under IRS regulations, a sizeable donation amounting to approximately 5% of the Foundation's net worth is distributed each year to the Library for the purchase of books. Over 1000 titles are acquired on an annual basis for both the adult and children's collections using between $25,000 and $30,000 donated by ELLF.
LEAVE A LEGACY is a "public awareness campaign designed to inspire people from all walks of life and all income levels to think beyond their lifespan when doing good works." Its mission is to encourage individuals to create a will or estate plan and to use these tools as a means of bequesting gifts to favorite charities, organizations, or other causes. The East Lyme Library Foundation participates in and is an adjunct member of LEAVE A LEGACY.
Methods and Degrees of Creative Gift Giving
The East Lyme Library Foundation's primary focus is that of creating and maintaining a substantial endowment that will serve to sustain the library's existence far into the future. One way this goal can be achieved is through the Foundation's active solicitation of charitable gifts and bequests from friends of the Library. Not only do contributors benefit from the satisfaction of giving, but donations are frequently tax-advantaged. There are many ways to donate. Some yield immediate income tax deductions. Others may help avoid long-term capital gains tax and reduce estate and gift taxes. Annuities create an income stream throughout one's lifetime.
While an explanation and description of the multiple avenues of giving is beyond the scope of this web site, four examples will be briefly reviewed. We urge readers who are interested in supporting the library through this type of giving to request a brochure from ELLF explaining available options in more detail. One may also wish to seek out professional counsel from attorneys specializing in gift and estate planning. The Foundation can work with your adviser to formulate a plan that helps you today and the East Lyme Library tomorrow.
Common Examples of Giving:
Outright gift of cash
This type of giving is simple and easy and can be accomplished without legal counsel. It generates an immediate income tax deduction and possible future estate tax savings for the donor. Any amount is accepted by ELLF, but the Foundation is designed for more sizeable donations which are invested for the future.
Outright gift of appreciated securities
In this case, long-term appreciated stocks or other securities can be donated. An immediate charitable deduction can be taken based on the current value of the security and capital gains taxes are avoided for the donor.
Here, a gift is deferred until after one's lifetime. The East Lyme Library Foundation is named in your will designating a specific amount or a percentage or share of the residue. The donation is exempt from federal estate tax.
The charitable gift annuity
This is a popular and enduring life-income plan. A donor transfers money or securities to the East Lyme Library Foundation. In exchange, he or she receives a guaranteed income for life from the invested funds, the amount determined by the size of the donation and the age of the donor. Tax advantages are multiple including a charitable deduction for the gift portion of the annuity, a portion of the annual income deemed tax-free by the Internal Revenue Service and avoidance of part of the capital gains if the annuity is funded with appreciated property.
Other types of creative gift giving include the following:
Revocable living trust
Outright gift of personal property
Outright gift of any security
Gift of life insurance
Gift of retirement assets
Gift of real estate
Retained life estate
Charitable remainder unitrust
Charitable remainder annuity trust
Charitable lead trust
Any gift can be designated as "restricted" by the benefactor with the donation directed towards a specific purpose, i.e. the purchase of books in a certain literary area. Or the gift can be "unrestricted" allowing the Foundation to direct the monies to needs that are considered pressing. If you wish for more information on the many types of giving available, please fill out the form below.
Individuals donating large gifts are recognized through the East Lyme Library Foundation Honor Roll and on a plaque displayed in the Library. These donors will concurrently be enrolled in the Annie Bond Society. Present Honor Roll members are as follows:
Gold: $10,000 and over Donation
Maria Bond Dart
Bjorn and Gunvor Lund
Arthur B. Robertshaw
Silver: $5,000 to $9,999 Donation
Bronze: $2,500 to $4,999 Donation
John and Elizabeth Gadbois
Dr. Charles Stephens
Andrea J. Chapman
The Foundation Board of Directors:
Lyn Behne, secretary
Edmond C. Bourque
Carolyn Boyle, treasurer
Holly Cheeseman, ex-officio
Robert Linden, M.D.
Diantha Ruth McMorrow, president
Thomas Mitchell, vice president
Jeanne M. O'Connell
Lisa Timothy, ex-officio
East Lyme Library Foundation Information Request