Donations, Sponsorship and Fundraising Policy


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.

Sponsors are required to have sponsorship agreements and need to align with our policies and practices and do not imply endorsement of products by the Library. Sponsors may not influence the goals and objectives of Library programs. Entering into sponsorship agreements does not suggest endorsement of products or services by Hamilton Public Library.

The Library reserves the right to immediately terminate an existing sponsorship if the sponsor uses Hamilton Public Library’s name outside the parameters of the agreement, without prior consent, or if the sponsor develops a public image inappropriate to the Library’s service and philosophy. In case of a change in ownership or name or both of a sponsor during the term of the agreement, Hamilton Public Library reserves the right to immediately cancel the agreement if the new organization fails to meet any of the principles or conditions outlined in this policy or in the contractual agreement.

All sponsorship agreements must include the dates of the agreement, must clearly indicate what the sponsor is contributing and the value of that contribution (best market value estimate) and the forms of recognition the Library will provide to the sponsor in return. The agreement must be signed by the Chief Librarian as the authorized representative of the Library Board and by authorized representatives from the external organization. The parameters of any exclusivity agreement shall clearly define the nature, extent and duration of the exclusivity.

The Library will ensure that the confidentiality of its records is maintained and will not sell or provide access to customer records in accordance with applicable Library policies and legislation.

Any naming opportunity included in a Sponsorship Agreement will conform to the Naming Opportunities Policy and will be assessed in accordance with that policy. Sponsors’ corporate names and/or logos may not have prominence over the Hamilton Public Library name and/or logo. The Library reserves the right to determine the placement of such names and logos.

The Hamilton Public Library Board endorses the Canadian Library Associations Position Statement on Corporate Sponsorship Agreements in Libraries.  All donations, gifts, sponsorship and fundraising programs will be consistent with the Hamilton Public Library’s mission statement. The Library reserves the right to decline any donation, gift or sponsorship opportunity that is deemed to be inappropriate or unsuitable to the advancement of the mission, values, and strategic objectives of the Library.

Sponsorship agreements valued at $25,000 or more shall be presented to the Library Board for approval. Sponsorship agreements valued at less than $25,000 may be approved by the Chief Librarian and will be reported to the Board. 


Staff will develop and implement appropriate fundraising strategies to achieve fundraising targets, while maintaining awareness and respect for fundraising activities undertaken by others within the City of Hamilton.

The Library may approve special fundraising ventures which it deems suitable in fulfilling its mission, values, goals and objectives, and which will not compromise the Library's public image. All funds raised will be used for the stated purposes and established priorities of the fundraising program as determined by the Library in the fundraising strategy.

Library Support Groups

Library Support Groups (such as the former Friends of the Library) wishing to financially support and/or advocate on behalf of the Hamilton Public Library will have their terms of reference and governance by-laws approved by the Hamilton Public Library Board. Annual reports will be made to the Library Board summarizing their activities.


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 healthy long-term relationships between the Library and its donors. Every effort is made to ensure that recognition is timely, meaningful to the donor, appropriate and equitable. Recognition of donors will conform to established guidelines.

A digital donor recognition wall in the Hamilton Room at the Central Library is used to highlight past gifts. HPL will also use the Library website and digital monitors around the system to thank donors. 

Recognition programs will honour individuals, corporations, service clubs, community organizations and philanthropic foundations that make monetary and/or gifts in-kind donations, as well as government agencies that provide direct cash grants to the Hamilton Public Library for the purpose of enhancing library services.

Donor recognition programs for special fundraising initiatives, such as capital campaigns, will be developed as a part of the campaigns.

The formal recognition of government grants or corporate partners in library programs and/or services is normally dictated by the terms of the grant or agreement and may include the inclusion of government or partners’ logos in print or electronic publications relating to the grant or agreement.

Use of funds raised and fundraising operating expenses will be in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines and every effort will be made to maximize dollars raised in relationship to dollars spent.

All records pertaining to established and potential donors will be held confidentially and in accordance with relevant legislation and Library policies.

The Library will also respect the wishes of any donors wishing to remain anonymous.

Charitable Receipts

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. 

Deadlines may be applied to ensure that donations are received in time to be receipted in the current tax year. Receipts cannot be backdated.

Support Your Library Webpage

The Library website will provide information about how to Support HPL.


Publish Date

November 2021