top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

The most rewarding part of making a planned gift is the knowledge that generations of children and adults will benefit from your generosity. Below are some questions frequently asked by those who make planned gifts to The Library Foundation.

What are the size and scope of planned gifts to The Library Foundation?

Generous individuals have made planned gifts ranging from $35 to $2.2 million. You can leave a gift for Multnomah County Library through your will or living trust, or you can designate a portion of your retirement account or life insurance policy to support the library.

Why do I make my gift through The Library Foundation?


The Library Foundation is the nonprofit that Multnomah County Library management has designated to receive bequests and other planned gifts for the library. Naming The Library Foundation as a beneficiary (see language here) will enable you to remember the library, and, in some instances, receive tax benefits. 

How will my gift be used?

The Library Foundation works closely with librarians to determine where private funding can expand and enhance the library's work, helping the library offer books and programs and undertake building renovations that might not be possible otherwise. Planned gifts to The Library Foundation have funded programs, collections, neighborhood library branches and more.

​Last year, more than 190,000 people were reached with programs funded by gifts to the foundation. Children's literacy programs and spaces for children and teens are our current priorities. Gifts to The Library Foundation do not fund day-to-day library operations.

Gifts to The Library Foundation support books and programs that engage children — during the school year, and when they are out for the summer — transforming them into skilled, avid readers. 
Early literacy starts long before a chil
With books, materials, and programs in 20 languages, Multnomah County Library reflects a diverse array of cultures. An important part of early literacy is seeing yourself reflected in the books you read.
Early literacy not only prepares children for school, but it also helps them realize their full potential.

Should I designate a specific use?

​We know there will always be a need for libraries. Librarians are experts in meeting emerging needs for information, books and materials in formats we can't even imagine today. An unrestricted planned gift gives librarians the flexibility to meet our community's needs into the future.

A gift to The Library Foundation can also be made in honor of a special person you would like to recognize. Please ask us for details.

Should I make my gift to The Library Foundation or Friends of the Library?

The Library Foundation is the non-profit designated by Multnomah County Library’s management to receive bequests, planned gifts, grants, and cash donations for the library. The foundation was created to raise and manage private support for Multnomah County Library.

The Friends of the Library is a grassroots membership organization that supports the library. Members raise money for the library through the Friends' Library Store and two annual book sales. The Friends and The Library Foundation work together to advocate for strong public support for our library.

What happens if I don't have a will?

Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state law. Through estate planning, you have the satisfaction of deciding exactly how and where to give.

Who makes decisions about my gift in the future?

The Library Foundation works closely with the library to determine how gifts will be used. The foundation is governed by a board of trustees, including an investment committee made up of financial and investment professionals. The foundation works with librarians to evaluate funding priorities each year and make sound decisions about where supporters' gifts will have the greatest impact.

May I remain anonymous?

Of course! Any kind of gift to The Library Foundation can remain anonymous to the public. Just tell us your wishes. We take the utmost care to reflect your gift in the way you intend it. 

May I speak with someone in person?

We would be happy to answer your questions and discuss your ideas. Our Director of Major Gifts, Laura Fay, can be reached at 503.223.4385 or here.

Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads program brings our community together through the power of a single book.
bottom of page