Endowment Giving

Endowment gifts are a wonderful way to create an everlasting legacy. Endowed funds are invested strategically to preserve their original value and generate income used to support the Library’s work for generations to come.

Named Endowments

Establishing an endowment fund in your name or the name of a loved one is a way to provide ongoing support to The Seattle Public Library.

The Foundation has established several levels of named endowments:

  • A named fund may be created in the Foundation’s unrestricted endowment with a gift starting at $50,000.
  • A named fund may be created for one of our existing restricted endowments with a gift starting at $100,000. See existing areas of funding below.
  • A named endowment restricted for a purpose not currently recognized by the Foundation may be created with a gift of at least $250,000.

Read our 2023 Endowment Report here.

Areas of Support

Children’s Endowments
Payouts from these endowments support the purchase of thousands of books for the children’s collection annually and enable children and teens to participate in programs designed to engage curiosity and encourage their love of books and reading. Endowments supporting children are a vital resource for Seattle youth and their families.

Endowments include:

Collection Endowments
Payouts from Collections Endowments fund approximately 1 of every 4 new items purchased by the Library with a focus on materials to integrate learning and reading into daily life. Selections include e-books, audiobooks, music and film, and extensive online content.

Endowments include:

Program Endowments
Each year the Library offers an amazing series of free public programs featuring noted authors and scholars as well as programs to support arts and cultural programming. These programs are designed to reach populations across our city, along with adult literacy efforts. These funds also help expand and protect the collection of rare Northwest historical materials for the Seattle Room.

Endowments include:

Staff Development Endowments
The Seattle Public Library staff do the important work of fulfilling its mission every day: bringing together people, information, and ideas to enrich lives and build community. The existence of these funds reflects the importance of investing in our staff.

Endowments include:

Unrestricted Endowments
Payouts from unrestricted endowments are used to support Library enhancements wherever a funding gap may exist. Unrestricted funds allow the Library the ultimate flexibility in responding to critical needs.

Endowments include:

Annual Gift Forever

You can make a Library gift as enduring as your dedication to the Library when you participate in the Foundation’s Annual Gift Forever program. This is a way for loyal Library donors to include a gift to a Foundation endowment in their will, which becomes a gift that goes on forever.

Click here to learn more.

Fiscal Management

The primary investment objective for endowment funds is to provide reasonable spending in support of The Seattle Public Library while preserving the purchasing power of the fund over the long term. The investment strategy has been designed to achieve returns sufficient to cover reasonable expenses plus inflation, while minimizing volatility.

The Foundation’s Finance Committee provides direct oversight and guidance of the management of endowment funds based on The Seattle Public Library Foundation’s Investment and Spending Policy.

Please contact the Foundation at 206.386.4130 or foundation@supportspl.org for information on endowment giving.