Underwriters Endowment Fund


Community support is critical to our continued growth and vitality as a public resource. You can make a difference and help ensure a bright future for generations to come by making a gift to the Library. Please read on to learn more about how you can help.

How the Library is Funded

The Lewes Public Library is an “independent library” within the Delaware Division of Libraries consortium. As such, the Library must raise over half of its annual operating funds each year. The Library has two sources of government funding: Sussex County and the State of Delaware. The remaining funds needed each year must be raised through our own efforts of soliciting grants and donations, collecting fines and fees, and holding fundraising events, as well as through the efforts of the Friends of Lewes Public Library.

What is the Underwriters Endowment Fund?

The Library is working to establish a $5 million endowment fund through generous community donors. The Underwriters Endowment Fund will provide a permanent funding source for the Library’s annual operations, alleviating the uncertainty—and drain of resources—associated with constant fundraising. With the reliable annual income provided by the Fund, the Library will be afforded long-term stability. This will enable us to focus all efforts on the mission of serving patrons, delivering exceptional programs, and providing essential resources free to the community.

All contributions to the Fund are permanently restricted so only earnings may be withdrawn. Thus, all gifts to the Fund support the Library in perpetuity. A portion of the Fund’s earnings will be distributed annually to support the Library’s operations. The principal will continue to be invested so that the Fund will grow over time.

Together donors to the Fund provide a meaningful legacy to the Library by creating a self-sustaining, dependable income source that will support the Library permanently into the future. More information may be found in this brochure. View the current list of contributors to the Underwriters Endowment.

Why an Endowment?

An endowment provides essential stability. It facilitates the strategic use of funds because it allows the Library to plan on the income from one year to the next. An endowment provides an excellent option for donors who want to make a planned gift.

Contributions begin at $2,500 and may be paid at once, over a period of 1-5 years, or as a bequest. To contribute to the Underwriters now, you can:

  • Give online.
  • Download and complete an Underwriters Donation Form, then mail or drop it off at the Library with a check payable to the Lewes Public Library.
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) – direct transfers of funds from your IRA custodian payable to a qualified charity. QCDs can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year. In addition to helping the library, the amount donated, up to $100,000 per tax year, is excluded from your taxable income.
  • Gifts of Property – be more philanthropic than you thought possible while receiving significant tax savings.
    • These may include securities, real estate and tangible property, such as artwork, books or equipment.
    • Irrevocable gifts of real estate can allow you to enjoy your assets in your lifetime and gain a tax benefit today.
    • Gifts of appreciated stock provide you with a double benefit – a charitable tax deduction for the full current market value and you won’t be subject to capital gains tax on the appreciation in value. Plus, you gain the satisfaction of helping the Library.
      Information on how to complete a donation of stock may be found here.

Contributions begin at $2,500 and may be paid over a period of 1-5 years. Download and complete an Underwriters Pledge Form, then mail or drop it off at the Library. You will receive a reminder each year of when your pledge payment is due.

The Gift and Donation Policy may be found here.
Naming opportunities are available for gifts and pledges of $5,000 and more. Please check back for the list of opportunities.
Donations of $25,000+ and/or bequests will be named in the Library’s Legacy Society.

For beneficiary designations, please use the legal name Lewes Public Library and the library’s federal tax ID #: 51-0350650. Thank you!

Do you have questions or need more information?
Please contact Rebecca Lowe, Library Development Director, at (302) 645-2733, ext. 4117 or by email.

The history of libraries in Lewes is long and rich. For the full story, read about Three Hundred Years of Generosity in Lewes.