The Niobrara County Library Foundation Endowment


The Niobrara County Library Foundation Endowment, established on April 10, 2000 is established to guarantee forever, a stable financial base for the Niobrara County Library.

The Endowment Fund is held with the Wyoming Community Foundation.

The Niobrara County Library Foundation Endowment:

  • Establishes a fund that provides a permanent source of support.
  • Principal of fund is never spent.
  • Provides long-term financial support.
  • Guarantees that fund growth is factored into spending formula.

Endowment Philosophy

The Niobrara County Library Foundation is committed to building a permanent endowment fund to guarantee, forever, an independent base of financial stability for the Niobrara County Library.

Endowment funds, by definition, carry a permanent time restriction with regard to the principal, that is, principal is held in perpetuity and only earnings are available for spending.

In order to ensure measured growth of the endowment, by Board policy:

  • 75% of all unrestricted gifts over $1000 will be allocated to the endowment fund.
  • All unrestricted memorial gifts and tributes will be allocated to the endowment fund.

Form of Endowment Gifts

The endowment is built through a combination of current contributions, deferred gifts and grants. Emphasis will be on the development of deferred gifts, particularly bequests and designated remainder interests from charitable trusts.

Designated gifts to the endowment may be accepted in the form of cash, real estate, securities and other property.

Designation of Endowment Gifts

Gifts may be made directly to the Niobrara County Library Foundation Endowment fund in the form that the donor directs and the agency accepts. Earnings from endowment will go towards the general operation of the library, unless a minimum fund of $10,000 is established in the donor’s name.

Ethical Standards for Gift Development

  • Donative intent must be the principle motivation for making a gift.
  • The best interests of the donor are placed before the interests of all other parties involved in the gift process.
  • Donors will be encouraged to consult their professional advisers.

Internal Organization

Staff Responsibilities

Niobrara County Library Director / Volunteer supports the endowment philosophy and provides leadership for design and implementation of the endowment program.

Board Responsibilities

  • Niobrara County Library Foundation Board and Niobrara County Library Board of Trustees supports endowment philosophy and participates in fund raising for the endowment.
  • Foundation Board Endowment Committee will work with Director / Volunteer to design and implement an endowment program.

Endowment Growth Policy

There are really only two ways that endowments are established: externally by donor designation, or internally by action of your organization’s board of directors.

External: Donors often make endowment designations when they give away an asset that they have worked hard to earn. They want to ensure that the asset is preserved as working capital for a charitable cause that they have supported during their lifetime. If we accept such a gift, we are obligated to honor the donor’s intent.

Internal: Even without donor designations, our board of directors can build an endowment by adopting an endowment growth policy to apply, for example, to certain kinds of unrestricted gifts. The most logical place to apply that policy is with bequests. Bequests are often unexpected, that is, we have not budgeted them for some specific purpose.

  • All unrestricted gifts go into endowment.
  • 75% of all unrestricted gifts over $1000 go into endowment.
  • All unrestricted memorial gifts and tributes go into endowment.

Ethical Standards

Donors must always be advised to seek their own professional counsel when considering gifts that significantly affect their estate and financial picture. Counsel must work for the donor, not for our organization. If asked we will recommend up to three professionals knowledgeable of tax-planning and investments.

Donors pay for professional advisors. “Finder’s Fees” are never appropriate.

Donative intent must be present in every gift. Tax benefits are wonderful, but should be the “icing on the cake.”