Mill Valley Public Library Donation Policy

(Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on January 12, 2017)


The Library is grateful for the generosity of its patrons and the greater community.  The Library seeks to establish a legacy of free and equal access where all are welcome.  The purpose of this policy is to promote that legacy by providing guidance to donors, potential donors and the Library regarding the acceptance of donations. 

Section 1: Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a formal process for acceptance and documentation of donations made to the Mill Valley Public Library (“Library”). This policy provides guidance when individuals, community groups, and businesses wish to make donations to the Library. This policy shall supersede other donation policies or guidelines adopted by the Library Board of Trustees. This policy will not be applied to grant funds awarded to the Library.

Section 2: Types of Donations

Donations may be offered in the form of cash, real or personal property, endowments, financial securities, and in-kind goods or services. Designated donations are those that the donor has specified for a particular Library purpose. Undesignated donations are those that are given to the Library with an unspecified use or purpose.

Section 3: Consistency with Library Interests

Donations may only be accepted when they have a purpose consistent with the Library’s goals and objectives and are in the best interest of the Mill Valley Public Library. The Library must always consider the public trust and comply with all applicable laws when accepting donations.

Section 4: Acceptance of Undesignated Donations

The City Librarian shall review every donation and determine if the benefits to be derived warrant acceptance of the donation.  The City Librarian may accept unconditional cash or cash-equivalent donations without additional review.

Section 5: Acceptance of Designated Donations of Cash or Tangible Items

The City Librarian will review the conditions of any designated donation and determine if the benefits to be derived warrant acceptance of the donation. Criteria for the evaluation include but are not limited to:

  1. Consideration of an immediate or initial expenditure that would be required in order to accept the donation;
  2. The potential and extent of the Library’s obligation to maintain, match, or supplement the donation;
  3. The value to the public good and best interests of the Mill Valley Public Library.

Section 6: Naming/In-Memoriam Considerations

The Library has an express interest in evaluating the purpose and consistency of donations made with the intent to honor an individual by naming a place or donated item. Any item or designated donation will be returned to the donor if an acceptable solution cannot be agreed upon.

  1. The Library will recognize a one-time cash or cash-equivalent donation of at least $5,000 made to the Library, the Friends of the Library or the Library Foundation on the donor board located within the Library. The donor’s name will be remain on the board for a minimum of 10 (ten) years, but with a reservation of rights in the event of renovations to the Library, physical constraints, acts of God, or subsequent acts by the donor that reflect poorly on the Library (such as acts of moral turpitude). 
  2. Volunteers who donate at least 1,000 hours of time to the Library may also be recognized on the donor board, with the same reservations as 6A.

Section 7: Board of Trustees Review

Any donation offers that are outside the parameters of this policy shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval or denial. 

Section 8: Declined Donations

The Mill Valley Public Library reserves the right to decline any donation if, upon review, acceptance of the donation is determined in the sole discretion of the Library to not be in its best interests.