The King Public Library has a new source of funding thanks to a generous donation and the efforts of the library board.
Librarian Ann Nichols said a $10,000 gift from Marvin and Carolyn Gentry had allowed the library board to set up a new endowment for the library through the North Carolina Community Foundation.
“Endowments have been talked about for a while,” she said. “We decided this gift would be more beneficial for the library as an endowment because it would be an everlasting gift for the library. Long after I am gone, after my children and grandchildren are gone, it will still be a part of this community.”
Nichols said the library would be able to pull earnings from the endowment on an annual basis for library needs or reinvest those earnings to help the endowment grow.
“The more the endowment grows the more we will have on an annual basis,” she said, noting that the library plans to also ask the community to donate to the endowment to help grow it as quickly as possible. “Our board is putting together a committee that will market this to the public and we will kick that off with our Christmas Open House on Dec. 15.”
The open house, held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., will allow patrons to learn more about the endowment and how they help contribute to it, but Nichols said the library was already getting donations.
“Individuals who have heard about it through word of mouth have already come in with donations to the trust,” she said. “They get a receipt from the foundation and the foundation makes me aware of the donations so I can send out thank you cards. It is all tax deductible.”
Nichols said the library board spent a considerable amount of time selecting the best foundation possible to manage the endowment.
“The Winston-Salem Foundation was considered, but in order to have an endowment through them the minimum was $25,000,” she said. She said a sister library in Mount Airy shared their experience with the North Carolina Community Foundation managing their endowment. “They were very satisfied with it and the minimum for them was $10,000. We did some research and found that we liked them too.”
Nichols said the new endowment fund can accept any variety of donations from small $5 donations to bequeaths of real estate.
“The foundation will handle the sale of the property and the funds will go into the endowment,” she said. “They can handle cash, securities, stocks, and life insurance donations. It is just a great way to provide a trust for the community’s library.”
She added that the new endowment will help with people who want to leave donations to the library in their will, or who would rather have friends and relatives donate to the library in lieu of flowers for funeral services.
“In the past we had to tell them to just ask for a donation to the library, now we have a better tool,” said Nichols. “I can give them a pamphlet about King Public Library Endowment and they can take it to their attorney and he can set them up. This way their gift will be something that will last beyond anything you can imagine.”
Earnings from the endowment can be used for a variety of needs at the library.
“We can use them to purchase books or other materials we need, or help to enhance the building or renovate it to meet needs that may come about in the future,” said Nichols. “The librarian will make recommendations to the library board about how the funds will be used and they can decide what they want to use them for each year. Right now all of our computers are out of date and will not support the new Windows 10. Perhaps the endowment would eventually allow us to replace the computers every five years.”
Nichols said anyone interested in the endowment could pick up a brochure about it at the library, call to have a brochure mailed to them, or visit www.nccomuntyfoundation.org.
“They can make a donation to the endowment directly through that website,” she said. “People love their libraries and want to help. This is a way that they can be a part of helping the library for the community for years to come.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.