Support Lewes Public Library


Libraries everywhere are facing tough budget decisions. And, with our brand new building built in 2016, we have a large new asset to care for – “for the next 50 years”. 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 governmental 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.

Annual Appeal:

The Annual Appeal, held in November of each year, is an endeavor of the Library Board of Commissioners to help provide operating expenses as well as build endowment for the future growth and needs of the library. To contribute to the Annual Appeal, you can give online or download and complete an Annual Appeal form, then mail or drop it off at the Library with a check payable to the Lewes Public Library.

Memorials and Named Tributes

Engraved pavers are located within the “allee” – the shaded walkway through the parking lot leading to the Library entrance that is the centerpiece of the grounds. To purchase a paver, view the Tribute Paver brochure. NOTE: tribute pavers orders will no longer be accepted after April 30, 2019.
The new Library has 540 solar panels which are expected to generate ALL the energy needs to heat and cool our new, larger Library. Combined with passive lighting, LED lights, and a new VRF system, solar makes the new Library one of the greenest, most cost-efficient buildings in the greater Lewes region.

To sponsor one or more of our array of solar panels, view Solar Panel brochure.

Check back for a list of community members who have purchased panels & see how much electricity the panels have generated!

Celebrate the children and grandchildren of greater Lewes by having their names and a special message engraved on the “Learning Tree”. This colorful tree is located in the Children’s Wing and has branches that will expand as up to 300 leaves are added.

Engraved leaves may be purchased in three colors – gold, silver and bronze at $300, $200, $100 each, respectively.

To purchase a Learning Tree leaf, view the Learning Tree Brochure.

Check back for a list of naming opportunities available for donations above a certain level.

Endowment Fund

An endowment fund is a long term, permanent fund that provides income each year to support a charitable cause. A gift to this fund can be a lasting expression of your appreciation for the Library and respects the wishes of each donor.
The Library Board of Commissioners allocates the annual income from the Endowment Fund for the enhancement of library services forever. Also the Board has established the “For the Next 50 Years Fund” to provide for long-term capital maintenance and improvement needs for the new library-owned facility.
An endowment provides essential stability. It facilitates the strategic use of the fund because it allows the Library to plan on the income from one year to the next. An endowment fund provides an excellent option for donors who want to make a planned gift.
Planned giving describes a number of giving options that allow donors to support the Library during their lifetime and/or after their deaths, while meeting current income needs and providing for their heirs. Planned giving is often done in connection with estate planning or will preparation and is a giving option for donors of all income levels.
Anyone can support the Library’s future with an endowment gift of any size. Examples include gifts made through a will or trust, gifts of retirement plan assets, gifts of life insurance, gifts that pay you income for life, gifts through a charitable lead trust.

Legacy Society

These members are all those who have remembered the Library in their wills as well as all those who have made significant lifetime donations of $25,000 or more.

We recognize and honor these very important donors in a variety of ongoing ways:

  • A biography of each Legacy Society member will be created as a display card and for viewing online, through the Library website.
  • Society members also will be listed on a special display inside the Library building, as well as in the Legacy Society brochure.
  • Each Society member will be invited to an annual luncheon at the Library.

View the Legacy Society Brochure.

Most Legacy Society gifts are made by including a simple paragraph in donors’ wills. To execute a bequest, simply ask your attorney to make an addition to your will, then let us know – we will be pleased to welcome you to the Legacy Society. If you need assistance preparing a will, we can help.

There also are planned gifts that can pay you income during your lifetime(s) before eventually being received by the Library. If you would like to explore other types of charitable giving instruments, we can arrange a consultation for you at no charge.

If you have already named the Library in your will or estate, please let us know so we may add you to our Legacy Society listings and invitation lists.

View sample bequest language.

Many Ways To Give

These gifts have the advantage of seeing your gift at work helping the Library.

  • Cash Contributions – write a check to a fund at the Library.
  • 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.

Bequests – Over the years, many patrons and supporters have remembered the Library as they prepare or revise their wills. Leave a legacy by naming the Library endowment as a beneficiary. Options include:

  • Wills or other estate planning documents
  • Charitable Trusts
  • IRA or other qualified retirement plans
  • Insurance policies

Smail Memorial Scholarship Fund is established by gifts from the Smail Family and friends, and augmented by an anonymous donor, and provides scholarships to graduating high school students who have given exceptional service to the Library.

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.