Annual Appeal

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.

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.

Library Funding FY 2024:


Last year, over 150,000 people walked through our doors. Many more accessed our services online. We are the busiest library in Sussex County, and in the past year we saw a 40% increase in visitors and a 24% increase in program participation.

Along with this exciting growth come growing expenses as demand for our services increases. Since we are an independent public library, we must raise nearly half of our operating funds each year through fundraisers, special events and sponsorships.

We hope you will help us continue to be a welcoming center for the exchange of ideas and a space for education, growth, and social interaction in our community. Your support of the Lewes Public Library is critical to ensure our growing community has continued access to free programs, workshops, and resources. This ensures financial barriers never get in the way of your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members accessing everything the library has to offer.

Library Usage & Community Engagement
Fiscal Year: July 1 – June 30


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 reserves for the future growth and needs of the library.

To contribute to the Annual Appeal, you can:

  • Give online.
  • 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 or cash.
  • 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.

Individual donors may dictate the specific purpose/use for donations – which must be acceptable to the library.
View/Download the Gift and Donation Policy PDF
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.