Featured Speaker
Susan Love
August 2000

What about extra money? Can a library spend a campaign's surplus money on anything other projects?

"If this is money you raised for a capital campaign, you cannot spend it on anything else. If you don't spend the money the way you said you were going to, the donor has every right to ask for it back. There is a famous case at a university where a donor asked for $1 million back. The court said that the institution had to give back the gift because they did not spend the money in the timeframe or in the way they said they were going to.

So, you have to decide ahead of time what you are going to buy, and what you are going to do with the money. Now, you may not decide everything down to every nut and bolt, but you can't go off and put the leftover into the general operating funds of the library, at least not without asking the donor.

If you end up with extra money, which is wonderful of course, you can go back to a donor, and say, 'We've actually got more than we need, would it be alright if we put the extra couple of thousand dollars into whatever?' You have to be very up front and very honest."


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