Grand County: Give to libraries before challenge grant deadline | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County: Give to libraries before challenge grant deadline

A critical deadline looms for the Grand County Library District’s Mountain Libraries Campaign.

This is a critical deadline not only for the library district but also for people who value the services they get from the Grand County libraries.

March 1, 2008 is the day when the campaign needs to have raised $2.4 million in order to take advantage of $250,000 in generous challenge grants that have been promised to the campaign.

That’s only 15 days away – only 15 days remaining for the district to raise $332,783 or a quarter of a million dollars may go a glimmering.

So if there ever was a time for people to consider giving to the Grand County Libraries, this is it.

The Grand County Library is, of course, grateful for all the support that’s been given to the campaign so far. But even with the encouraging and astounding amount of local and non-local support, it’s time to consider giving again as this critical deadline approaches.

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So far, individuals and entities have donated a little more than $2 million to this important campaign that’s raising funds to help pay for the two new libraries in Grand Lake and Granby that were completed in 2006 at a cost of $6.2 million.

More than $2 million is a grand sum indeed for Grand County. In total, 46 individuals and entities have given gifts of $5,000 or more, some as high as $150,000. Many others have given amounts lower than $5,000. Obviously, people believe in this campaign and the mission of the Grand County Library District.

But more – $332,783 to be exact – is needed. Soon.

Otherwise, those generous challenge grants could be lost. (A total of $200,000 is from the Gates Family Foundation of Denver and $50,000 is from the Boettcher Foundation.)

The Grand County Library District is asking previous donors to renew their commitment to the capital campaign and donate again in this New Year.

The library district is also asking new donors to show their support of the Grand County libraries by donating to the Mountain Libraries Capital Campaign.

“If you’ve given before, it’s time to give again,” said Mary Anne Hanson-Wilcox, Director of the Grand County Library District. “If you’ve not given yet, your donation can still have a huge impact because the goal has not been met yet.”

Obviously, now is a great time to give because money or gifts given to the campaign by March 1 actually are worth much more than their face value.

Take, for instance, the overall value of one dollar given to the campaign today.

Because of the challenge grants, one dollar given to the campaign now actually equals $1.60. That’s a 60 percent increase in value just by donating to the successful campaign by March 1, 2008. That almost doubles your donation.

There’s an important way in which the value of donations to the campaign can be increased for donors. The two libraries built with these funds are eligible as Colorado Enterprise Zone development projects. Because of that, donors providing gifts or cash can claim a state tax credit.

The amount of the credit is 25 percent of the value of a cash contribution or 12.5 percent of an in-kind contribution, up to $100,000 per year.

Planned giving can also stretch the value of a gift to the Mountain Libraries Capital Campaign. A person can pledge a gross amount for this tax year but schedule the payments out through the next five years. This gives maximum benefit toward reaching the campaign’s goal while adding value now for tax breaks. It also spreads out the impact of the donation over time.

Under all these scenarios, one dollar is really worth more than a dollar to both the library district and to the donors. This also would apply to people conducting their estate planning, where wise tax planning can steer resources toward a worthy cause like the Mountain Libraries Capital Campaign while saving on the tax bite for estates or trusts.

Please consider the Mountain Libraries Capital Campaign in your estate or trust planning.

The value of gifts to the campaign is really priceless when you consider that gifts to the campaign help to assure the continued provision of a wide range of services offered in the Grand County libraries. Cultural programs and gatherings, film series, book groups, art, musical performances, meeting spaces and free internet access to help Grand County bridge the digital divide are just some of the services provided by the Grand County libraries.

People are taking advantage of our libraries. Year-to-date usage is up 30 percent at the Granby Library. At the Juniper Library alone in Grand Lake 10,000 people a month used the facility in July and August of 2007 and more than 8,000 people used the library in June. These services, really, are priceless to our communities. Grand County residents, visitors, seasonal workers and second-home owners use the libraries, and appreciate all that they have to offer.

“The success of this campaign means we continue to grow our library services and programs throughout the county and not focus on library construction costs,” Hanson-Wilcox said.

The Grand County Library District accepts donations in the form of cash, check, credit card, securities or online at gcld.org with PayPal.

For more information on giving, contact Pat Berger, finance administrator for the Grand County Library District at (970) 887-9411, ext. 107 or online at pberger@gcld.org. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1050, Granby, CO 80446.

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