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Donations, Sponsorship and Fundraising Policy


Cash Donations

Gifts of cash are accepted and are used to enhance the services of the library system. 

The Library reserves the right to use undesignated donations in the best interest of the Library, and shall make decisions regarding the investment, disposition and/or eventual disposal of all donations.

Both designated and undesignated donations are welcomed.  For designated donations, the Library will direct the donation to a specific purpose as outlined by the donor.

Unless otherwise specified by the donor, cash donations received during the year are to be transferred to a Donations Reserve.  Use of funds in the Reserve requires Board approval before being spent.

The Board will be informed of individual cash donations of $25,000 or more.  Staff will advise the Board of such donations and bring forward a recommendation for use of the funds such as transfer to the Donations Reserve or use for a specific purpose. 

Acceptance and handling of cash donations shall adhere to the Library’s Cash Handling Policy (under review).

Donations can be made as follows:

  • Smaller gifts can be made online through
  • Larger gifts can be made directly to the Hamilton Community Foundation
  • Or by contacting the HPL’s business office as follows:
    • By phone: 905-546-3200 x3239
    • By email:
    • In person/ in writing: 55 York Blvd Hamilton, ON L8N 4E4

CanadaHelps is a non-profit organization. It facilitates online donations for not-for-profits, including libraries.  A small percentage of the donation is retained to support this organization (

Hamilton Community Foundation

The Library Board is committed to working with the Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF). HPL has a long standing partnership with HCF in managing its endowment funds.  Endowments are gratefully accepted and directed to the HCF on behalf of the Library. This foundation manages HPL’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. (

Library Legacy Fund – The Library Legacy Fund is an endowment fund which is administered and managed by the Hamilton Community Foundation on behalf of the Hamilton Public Library.  The principal is used to generate income which is available for Library use.

Donors of $5,000 or more may name a fund but the income will be used at the discretion of the Library Board.  Donors of $25,000 or more may name the fund and choose to direct the donation to a specific field of interest in consultation with the Library Board.

Library or Foundation staff will work together with the donor or the donor’s lawyer, accountant, life insurance agent or financial planner to establish which type of donation best meets the donor’s goals.

Both the Hamilton Public Library and the Hamilton Community Foundation recognize all donations to the Library Legacy Fund.  Donors of named funds are recognized in the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Annual Report each year in perpetuity.

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 efforts, is not property and, therefore, does not qualify as a gift or gift in kind for purposes of issuing official donation receipts. (

  • Art

    • The Library accepts artwork of historic/documentary value related to the history of the City of Hamilton as appropriate and as described in its Collection Policy. 
    • The Library does not act as a repository of the works of local artists or of portraits of local persons. 
    • The Library does not actively collect, seek or accept unsolicited donations or purchase art for decorative, artistic or commemorative purposes unless it is a Commission of Art for a new building specifically commissioned by the Library Board.
    • The Library Board reserves the right to refuse to accept any artwork considered by it to be inappropriate and/or unsuitable for a library environment.
  • Valuable Papers/Collections

The Library accepts gifts of papers/collections of historic/documentary value related to the history of the City of Hamilton as determined by its Collections Policy. 

  • Non-cash Gifts

Gifts of securities are welcomed and are directed to the Library’s trust funds managed by the Hamilton Community Foundation.

  • Property

Gifts of property, real estate and tangible property are administered through the Library’s Business Office.

  • Deferred Gifts including Bequests/Life Insurance

A deferred gift is arranged now but is not available for use by the Library until some future time, usually after the death of the donor.  With a deferred gift, a portion or all of a donor’s assets may be designated by bequest to benefit the Library. Such gifts may be made by will or beneficiary designation.  Persons interested in making deferred gifts are directed to the Library’s Legacy Fund managed by the Hamilton Community Foundation.