What is the Library Foundation of Needham?

The LFN was established by the Needham Free Public Library Board of Trustees to build an endowment to support enhancements which would otherwise put an unreasonable burden on the tax rate.

Why does the Library need additional funds beyond what the town provides?

The town budget covers library materials and employee salaries. There is no money for library programs in the town budget. The LFN provides additional funding beyond the town budget which allows for increased program offerings, expansion of the collection and purchase of special equipment and services.

Doesn’t the library have trust funds?

Yes. Many have restricted use and the investments are managed by the elected Commissioners of Trust Funds. The library trustees must allocate these funds for their designated purpose.

Are the contributions to the LFN charitable donations?

Yes. The LFN is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Our tax number is available upon request.

Are contributions to the LFN publicly recognized?

Those that donate to the LFN are recognized in several ways.  The Donor Wall opposite the Rosemary Street main entrance acknowledges gifts from $10,000 to $250,000.  Past donations of $1500 have also been acknowledged here. Donors of $500 to the trees and rainwater recovery system are listed on the second floor balustrade facing the parking lot. Smaller donations through June, 2016 have been recognized on the balustrade around the main staircase.

How do the LFN and Friends of the Library differ?

Both groups work to enrich the library. The LFN accepts contributions, but does not offer memberships to benefactors. The LFN has a permanent fund that will be available for future generations of Needham residents and provides a steady revenue stream to augment the programs and services of the library. Arrangements for programs and resources funded by the LFN are the responsibility of the library director and staff.

The Friends work from a group of members and provide immediate library support. Annual membership dues and the sale of donated books are the primary sources of revenue for the Friends of the Library. Programs offered by the Friends are selected and arranged by the Friends’ Program Committee. Allocations to the library “wish list” are made on a year-to-year basis by the Friends’ Board of Directors.

How is the LFN governed?

The 15-member volunteer board of directors meets monthly to direct fund-raising efforts and approve disbursements from the foundation’s endowment.

How are Foundation disbursements decided?

The board allocates approximately 3-4 percent of available assets and disburses these funds twice a year.

Who manages the money?

The LFN board manages the money through a local bank account and an account with a securities management firm.

How can I help the LFN?

To learn more about how to help, contact the LFN at info@lfnonline.org.