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Donations, Sponsorship and Fundraising Policy

Policy Purpose

The Hamilton Public Library (HPL) welcomes and encourages donations, gifts and sponsorship from individuals, groups, foundations and corporations to enhance library system services.  The Library provides service to the community in accordance with the Library’s missions, values and strategic goals. The Hamilton Public Library gratefully accepts donations and sponsorship and fundraising opportunities based on this policy.

Key Points Summary

  • The Library gratefully accepts donations and welcomes sponsorships and fundraising opportunities with third parties in order to advance its mission, adhere to its values and meet its strategic goals.
  • Undesignated cash donations are set aside in a Donations Reserve. Use of funds from the Donations Reserve shall be approved by the Library Board. Designated donations that are specified for particular uses by the donor are directed to the appropriate cost centre.
  • The Library has a long-standing partnership with the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF) in managing its endowment funds. Endowment funds are gratefully accepted and directed to the HCF on behalf of the Library. The HCF manages the Library’s endowments and provides the Library Board with the investment income annually. The Library Board approves the expenditures of these funds consistent with the specifications of the funds.
  • The Hamilton Public Library Board will maintain a donor recognition program in support of this policy. The purpose of the donor recognition program is to thank donors, to encourage others to give, and to steward a healthy long-term relationship between the Library and its donors. The Library respects the wishes of the donors who wish to remain anonymous.
  • Charitable receipts are issued for cash donations, appraised donations of art and valuable papers, as well as in-kind donations. Charitable receipts cannot be issued for more than the fair market value as determined by an independent appraiser. 


Financial Services Office of HPL - This office is responsible for financial services of the Library and facilitates tax receipts and donations.  Activities of this office are overseen by the Director of Finance & Facilities.

Cash - Cash includes cheques, money orders, bank drafts, and money (bills & coin). Donations made by debit card and by credit card are also considered cash gifts.

Donation- A donation is a gift, contribution of cash, or goods given voluntarily to the Library as a philanthropic act without expectation or requirement of reciprocal benefit. A designated donation is one that is to be used for a specific purpose. An undesignated donation is one that has no stipulations on use. 

Gifts In-Kind - Gifts in-kind, also known as non-cash gifts, are gifts of property. They cover items such as artwork, equipment, securities, and cultural and ecological property. A contribution of service, that is, of time, skills or effort, is not property and, therefore, does not qualify as a gift or gift in-kind for purposes of issuing official donation receipts. CRA charities & giving glossary

Sponsorship - A sponsorship is a mutually beneficial exchange between the Hamilton Public Library and an outside organization, in which an external party makes a contribution of cash or in-kind goods or services to the Library in return for recognition, acknowledgements or other considerations. Sponsors receive a benefit of reciprocal value in return for their support and contribution.

Policy Details

The Hamilton Public Library is a registered charity and follows all relevant rules and regulations of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

All donations constitute a complete transfer from the previous owner to the Library. Unless a mutual agreement between the Library and the donor is achieved, if the owner is unwilling to transfer full ownership and rights then the gift will be declined with thanks.

The Hamilton Public Library has no obligation to inform the donor of the disposition of the donated materials, to retain intact, or to reserve special library shelving for unsolicited gifts of private collections. Donations will be accepted on the understanding they will be used in accordance with the criteria established in this policy.

Types of Gifts

HPL welcomes and accepts different types of gifts as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency. Where applicable, the Library may require the donor to have their property appraised by a certified appraiser at a shared expense with the Library before a decision as to whether or not a donation will be accepted.

  1. the Hamilton Public Library appreciates the generosity of those who wish to donate, the Hamilton Public Library’s Collections Policy states that the Library does not accept donations of materials for its collections. The Hamilton Public Library encourages persons with such materials to consider donating them to other community agencies.

Donations to the Local History and Archives department must align with the selection criteria identified in the Library’s Collections Policy and any relevant Local History & Archives Policies.

Note: This policy does not supersede prior agreements. Any restrictions in existence as of the effective date of this policy may remain as restrictions to disposal and the Library Board will be governed by its prior commitments. This includes memorial gifts of art which may not normally be disposed of unless the donor or donor’s representative has given approval.