Library lovers unite: Foundation sets endowment goal of $1 million

April, 2012 Posted in Community
Stayton Public Library
515 N. First Ave.
Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday;
noon to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday;
10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday;
noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday and
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale
Stayton Community Center, 400 W. Virginia St.
5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12;
9 a.m. to 7 p.m Friday, April 13;
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 14
Thousands of books sorted by categories.
Free to attend. Books vary in price.

Stayton Library Public Foundation
To donate to the foundation, learn
about the Crown Jewel Society
or for information, call
503-769-9658 or visit

Funds raised at The Toast of Stayton event are a great start to the $1 million Stayton Public Library Foundation board members hope to raise in the near future to help support library services.

Formed in the early 1990s, the foundation started a Capital Campaign that ended in 2007 with $2.9 million in funds toward library expansion, board member and past president Dave Karr said.

“The city didn’t put a dime into it,” Karr said. “After we raised another $150,000 for furnishings, we had a little over $100,000 left. We decided one of the things we should do was to continue the support of the library by setting up an endowment fund. We entered into an agreement with the Oregon Community Foundation, which maintains funds for hundreds of organizations in the state.”

Today, the endowment fund has about $100,000 in cash and $200,000 in pledges, still a far cry from the board’s ambitious undertaking to raise $1 million by 2014.

So board members have organized a campaign to find more endowment gifts, Karr said.

“That’s hard, especially in this economy,” he said. “We’re hoping to find people who want to make an estate gift. A lot of people tell me how much they love the library. We just need to find a few of those who want to help us out.”

In addition to funding the endowment, the foundation covers administrative costs for its work, provides $25,000 to the city of Stayton for library operations, and funds the Outreach Storyteller program, Karr said.

“We’re reading to kids twice a week in some 26 classrooms in Stayton and Sublimity,” he said. “We also give the kids four books to take home each year. That program costs us about $28,000 a year.”

The foundation’s next step is to expand its Crown Jewel Society, founded two years ago to provide ongoing financial support for library improvements, Karr said.

“We’ve got about 112 members who are giving us about $20,000 a year,” he said. “That’s wonderful, but we need to double that.”

Karr said raising $40,000 annually would keep the sustainer club financially secure.

“The second goal is to make a specific ask for endowment gifts,” he said. “With a million dollar endowment fund, what we could do for this library is absolutely amazing.”

The Toast of Stayton, he added, built “a little spirit and helped the library foundation at the same time.”

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