News & Events

Planning for the Future with Endowment
Friday, June 25, 2004


The Niobrara County Library Foundation Endowment is a fund created to provide a permanent source of support to the library. The local foundation board established endowment in April of 2000 through the Wyoming Community Foundation with a goal of $1.5 million by 2015. Currently all income generated in the fund is reinvested until the goal is met. Once the long-term goal is met the fund will provide a stable income of potentially up to 95% of the library's annual budget ? money that will be available to the library for perpetuity.

Some of the highlights of endowment are that the principal or value of the fund is never spent. Earnings of the fund are interest, dividends and market gains and/or losses. Direct earnings to the organization are a portion of the total annual earnings of the fund. An endowment is not a reserve or "rainy day" account.

Endowment will ensure that the Niobrara County Library's doors will be open for your grandchildren and their grandchildren.

We keep hearing about the Kresge Challenge Grant - what is that?

The Kresge Challenge Grant is an opportunity for the citizens of Niobrara County to invest in the community by ensuring the financial future of their library. The Niobrara County Library Foundation was chosen through a competitive process by the Kresge Foundation and the Wyoming Community Foundation to participate in the "Partnership to Raise Community Capital."

The "Partnership to Raise Community Capital" is a one-to-three match. This means every $3 contributed to the endowment, up to the Niobrara County Library Foundation's goal amount of $250,000, will be matched with $1 by the Kresge Foundation. This would bring in an additional $83,333 dollars into the Niobrara County Library Endowment. Currently, through gifts of cash and pledges, $130,000 has been raised. The push is on to raise the additional amount as the goal must be met by December 31 of this year.

There are many ways that supporters of this Challenge Grant and the library can contribute. Some examples are gifts of cash, stocks and real estate, or other assets that can be readily sold as well as irrevocable planned gifts.

What is Planned Giving?

As members of the Niobrara County Library Foundation visit with library donors one of the phrases that is often heard is Planned Giving. What is this? This is a gift that is legally provided for during the donor's lifetime but whose principal benefits may not accrue to the organization until a future time, generally at the death of the donor. Some of the advantages to the donor are estate planning, the creation of a permanent memorial, an ability to make a gift with the retention of income, there may be income, estate and capital gains tax savings and this type of giving often answers a desire to help people. Some of the benefits to the organization are the increase of options for gifting; planned gifts may often be irrevocable and can then be used as a basis for future planning.

The terms of the "Partnership to Raise Community Capital Campaign" with the Wyoming Community Foundation and the Kresge Foundation allows that up to ? of the goal amount may be raised through Irrevocable Planned Giving. This means that the Niobrara County Library Foundation challenge grant could raise up to $125,000 in Irrevocable Planned Gifts to meet the terms of the campaign.

Some examples of irrevocable gifts are charitable gift annuities and annuity trusts. A charitable gift annuity is a contract between the donor and the charity and is generally a fixed income and may offer tax benefits for the donor. Annuity trusts are also a fixed income (a percentage of original value) and offers tax benefits. Unitrusts are also another example, the income from this type of gift is a percentage of assets as revalued each year, this offers tax benefits and there are generally three variations. In order for planned gifts to qualify for the benefit of the Kresge Challenge they must be irrevocable and in place by December of 2004.


Endowment building for the Niobrara County Library Foundation is a long-term goal, certainly not something that can be accomplished overnight. Planned giving is a large part of successful endowment campaigns and can encompass many things. For instance, gifts of real estate that can be readily sold are accepted by the Foundation and the Foundation can also be used as a beneficiary in life insurance policies. Irrevocable planned gifts that also might be considered are gifts of real estate with a retained life estate contract. Financial advisors as well as attorneys are able to guide donors through the intricate details of ensuring that your wishes are followed as well as in the case of endowment, ensuring that your family will be remembered into perpetuity.

The Niobrara County Library Foundation has established the Leaf of Gold tree as one way to recognize the many donors who have contributed to the past building fund and the current endowment project. Plans are also underway for a recognition garden for donors of larger gifts. If you haven't had a chance to view the plans or if you would like more information regarding endowment and the Kresge Challenge please contact a member of the Kresge Challenge Grant Campaign Team: Leslie Hammond, 334-2534 Lynn Carlson, 334-3306, Linda Decker, 334-3738, Keni Cundall, 334-3684, Debbie Sturman at the Niobrara County Library, 334-3490.

If you would like more information regarding irrevocable planned giving please contact your financial advisor and attorneys and for additional information about the Niobrara County Library Foundation's Endowment or the recognition garden contact a member of the Kresge Challenge Grant Campaign Team: Leslie Hammond, 334-2534 Lynn Carlson, 334-3306, Linda Decker, 334-3738, Keni Cundall, 334-3684, Debbie Sturman at the Niobrara County Library, 334-3490.

Library Hours

Sunday -- Closed
Monday -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday -- Noon to 7 p.m.
Thursday -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday -- Closed

Holiday closures listed in
Upcoming Events section
For Questions and Information

The Niobrara County Library Foundation, Inc. accepts online donations. Click to contribute via PayPal or credit/debit card.

Niobrara County Library Foundation Inc

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Debbie Sturman

May Smith
Assistant Librarian

Karen Alvis
Circulation Librarian

Tina Kitras
Children's Librarian

Jeanine Wade
Genealogy Librarian

Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
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