Friends of HCLS - Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t our taxes pay for the Howard County Library?
While public funds make libraries possible, private funds allow libraries to flourish.
Can I give less than the $35 membership?
Yes. Every cash or cash-equivalent gift is accepted and will receive a tax-receipt. However, only gifts at the $35 level and above will receive the recognition and benefits associated with that level.
Can I give in honor or in memory of someone?
Yes. And if you provide a name and address, we will notify your honoree or the honoree’s family of your gift (without the gift amount).
Can I donate shares of stock and be recognized as a member?
Yes. For details, please contact Rita Hamlet
Can I donate items to the Friends and be recognized as a member?
No. While the Friends are immensely grateful for in-kind support, membership is based on donations of cash or cash equivalents. However, general in-kind supporters are recognized once a year in the Library’s Annual Report, and Evening in the Stacks in-kind supporters are recognized separately through the event.
Can I have my membership dollars go to support a particular initiative?
While membership dollars support the general fund, additional donations may be designated for specific initiatives.
Can I donate my vehicle or other another asset to support the Friends?
This type of donation will be brought to the Board’s gift-acceptance committee for review.
If I support the Friends through the Columbia Foundation, the United Way or a similar organization, will I be recognized as a member?
Yes. If we receive a gift through one of those organizations, and we can identify you as the donor, then we will recognize you as a member. Please note that each organization has a different way of dispersing and reporting these gifts to the supported organization, so the Friends may not receive the gift or notification of the gift for some time.
If I support the Friends through the Columbia Foundation, the United Way or a similar organization, who will issue my tax receipt?
The organization to which you write the check issues the receipt. While we may be the ultimate beneficiary of your gift, if you did not give directly to the Friends, the Friends are not the ones to issue you a tax receipt.
Can I give online through online portals, such as Facebook’s Causes application, JustGive or GuideStar?
It many cases, yes. However, these sites handle their gift-processing differently, and in some cases we may not receive your name as the donor. Also, many of these sites charge a processing fee, so the amount that you intend to give may not be the amount that the Friends ultimately receive. If we receive a gift through one of those sites, and we can identify you as the donor, and the amount received matches one of our membership levels, then we will recognize you as a member at the appropriate level.
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