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Philanthropic Naming and Recognition Policy


The naming of all library buildings and spaces associated with a construction, renovation or expansion project is the responsibility of the library Board of Trustees. Their consideration will be guided by the following criteria.

Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL) will consider naming part of the building, other property or interior space after an individual, foundation, organization or corporation in recognition of substantial financial gifts to the CRPL Foundation. Donors making such gifts may choose to memorialize someone other than themselves with the financial gift, subject to the library Board of Trustees’ approval.

The CRPL Foundation will seek financial contributions commensurate with the honor sought and compatible with the mission of the library. Naming opportunities need not be cost reflective, rather they would provide prominent recognition of outstanding service contributions or generosity to the library.

Facilities subject to the guidelines include:

  • Library building or major renovation
  • Interior spaces or service areas
  • Outdoor spaces - gardens, courtyards, walkways, or plazas
  • Amenities such as a fireplace, artwork
  • Primary or specialty collections

Generally library facilities are named in accordance with their geographical or functional designations.
However, naming a library building as a whole will be considered by the library Board of Trustees on a case-by-case basis under extraordinary circumstances. Consideration will be made if a major donor contributes no less than 51% of the total cost of the project or 51% of a major renovation plus endowment support for the library in an amount approved by the library Board of Trustees in collaboration with the Library Foundation.

Opportunities for recognition in interior and exterior spaces, collections, programs, amenities and fixtures may be offered to major donors contributing a substantial sum in response to a specific fundraising drive. Lists of potential recognition opportunities will be developed by trustees in collaboration with the Library Foundation prior to a fundraising campaign and presented to the library Board of Trustees for advanced approval. Any naming opportunities associated with other collaborative city projects will be offered after consultation with the City Manager or assigned City Director.

Donor Recognition Versus Property Naming
Donations received for equipping or furnishing a library area, that do not include the cost of building or renovating the space, can be given recognition through an appropriate plaque or alternative means within or adjacent to the space. This shall not constitute the “naming” of the space. When the equipment or furnishing becomes outdated, dysfunctional or is retired, the recognition will be withdrawn.


  • All naming recognition must be consistent with the nature and mission of the library. In this regard, due attention shall be given to both long-term and short-term appropriateness of naming.
  • When a proposal involves the use of the name of any person, approval is contingent on the agreement of that person.
  • When a proposal involves the use of the name of a deceased person, approval is contingent on the agreement of that person’s next of kin.
  • The library Board of Trustees reserves the right to change or remove the recognition should a significant change occur in the circumstances of the donor.

Visual Recognition
The Library Director, in consultation with the library design team, will be responsible for determining the manner in which the name is recognized (e.g. signage).

The Foundation will explain the library’s naming policy to the donor, work with the donor to determine a suitable display based on policy guidelines and ask the donor to sign a naming agreement. Any commemoration technique must be consistent with the library’s image and design requirements and is subject to review and approval by the library Board of Trustees.

Duration and Change of Use
When a change in the use of a previously named facility occurs because a program moves/ends or space is reassigned or demolished, some form of continuing recognition may be appropriate.

Property naming rights will remain in place for the useful life of the building or area, not to exceed a period of twenty-five (25) years. Renewal of naming right after the twenty-five year period will be reviewed and approved by the library Board of Trustees.

If a previously named facility or space within the facility must be replaced or substantially renovated during the twenty-five year period, the name will remain as set forth in any gift agreements related to the prior naming action.

If a previously named facility or property must be replaced or substantially renovated after the twenty-five year period, the library Board of Trustees will consider renewing the naming right either in a space similar or related to the original named area or in the creation of an alternative memorial, in order to preserve the history of commemoration.

If a named gift donor becomes embroiled in controversy that is inconsistent with library and Board of Trustees’ behavior policies and/or ethical standards, the Board of Trustees may vote to remove said name without notice to the donor and prior to the end of the original twenty-five (25) year term.

Gift agreements related to naming actions will be kept by the Foundation.

As a 501c3 non-profit, the Foundation is responsible for the planning and management of private fundraising drives in support of the library. If the Foundation wishes to offer naming opportunities as part of a capital campaign, the Foundation will work with the library director and building committee to identify signature areas for inclusion in the list. Giving levels associated with each naming opportunity will be recommended by the Foundation based on the campaign goal and number of gifts being requested at each giving level.

The library Board of Trustees will be asked to approve a list of naming opportunities associated with a campaign. Approval will enable the Foundation to offer listed naming opportunities to potential donors at agreed upon giving levels during the course of the campaign.

In general, donors will be recognized based on the agreed upon naming opportunity only after at least 75% of the pledge is fulfilled. Failure to fulfill a pledge in full will nullify the naming agreement. Gift recognition associated with individual campaign efforts will be subject to the campaign-specific gift acceptance policy.

Adopted: 08/2010
Revised: 2/4/2016, 11/7/2019, 12/1/2022
Last review: 2013

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