Policy for the administration of gifts to the State Library of NSW Foundation

This document outlines the ways in which gifts given to the Library Foundation are administered.

Policy no: PD/65
Version: 1.1
Policy owner/sponsor: Director, Foundation
Branch contact: Director, Foundation
Approved by: Executive
Date approved: 14/4/20
Next review 14/4/23

Policy statement

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • provide a State Library of New South Wales framework for the administering of gifts (as defined in this policy)
  • facilitate transparent, ethical and responsible acquittal of the State Library’s obligations as custodians of gifts
  • ensure that all gifts are used to the best advantage of the State Library, according to any and all conditions that may apply to the gift, and in a manner which maintains the good will and confidence of past and present donors.

The policy applies to the administration of all gifts after they are accepted, received and held by the State Library.  This policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Recognition of Support Policy: Naming Rights Document
  2. The Guidelines for major donors and sponsors

This policy does not apply to original material gifts, which may be accepted and placed in the State Library’s collection.

Target audience

This policy applies to all State Library staff engaged in the administration of gifts, including the State Library of New South Wales Foundation, its Board and Trustees, the Foundation office and other staff members engaged in delivering of gift requirements.


1. Organisational overview

1.1 State Library of New South Wales

The State Library of New South Wales (State Library) is one of Australia’s oldest and most important public institutions. Collecting actively since 1826, the Library preserves and presents the social, cultural and scientific history of our State and our Nation for the benefit of all.

1.2 Library Council of New South Wales

The Library Council of New South Wales (Library Council) is the governing body of the State Library operating according to the Library Act 1939 (NSW). The Library Council Members are appointed by the NSW Government.

1.3 The State Library of NSW Foundation

The State Library of New South Wales Foundation (the Foundation) is the major fundraising vehicle assisting the Library Council of NSW in accordance with the Library Act 1939 (NSW) and other relevant legislation, regulation and government policy.

The Foundation is governed by a Board established under a Trust Deed with the Trust safeguarded by Trustees. It is a controlled entity of the Library Council of NSW as a charitable trust (established on 26 July 1989) with its accounts consolidated as part of the NSW Total State Sector Accounts.

Its governance and financial affairs are conducted within the context of the NSW Public Sector and as such in accordance with requirements of the Public Finance and Audit Act, 1983 and Regulation, Treasurer’s Circulars and Directions. It is covered for insurance through the Treasury Managed Fund Scheme; administered by the NSW Self Insurance Corporation. The Foundation (ABN 76 343 150 267) has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, Income Tax Exempt Charitable Entity (ITEC) and Charity Tax Concessions (TCC).

The Foundation office is within the Operations Division of the State Library and is managed by the Director, Foundation.

2. Gift administration principles

The State Library has a rich history of philanthropy to support its programs and endeavours. The Foundation aims to attract and retain the continuing interest and financial support of the community at large through relationships with individual supporters, partners, corporate sponsors and family trusts. 

The guiding principles of gift administration include:

  • Gifts to the State Library will be administered efficiently, in accordance with the terms upon which they were given and with a view to maintaining the good will and confidence of donors.
  • The State Library respects the privacy of donors and donors can elect for their gift to be anonymous. Private and personal information about donors will be held by the Foundation office and managed by authorised staff in accordance with the Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
  • The State Library will administer gifts according to all legal obligations and the Donor Charter (Attachment 1)

3. Gift admnistration program

The gift administration program, maintained by the Foundation office will record the following information for each gift:

  • The nature and value of the gift, including whether it is a donation or bequest
  • The timeframe for the execution of the gift
  • The identity of the donor where appropriate
  • The applicable conditions
  • The appropriate record, receipting and tax deductibility
  • The acknowledgment and eligibility for Foundation membership of the donor

4. Gift register

The gift register maintained by the Foundation office will record the following information for each gift:

  • The nature and value of the gift, including whether it is a donation or bequest
  • The timeframe for the execution of the gift
  • The identity of the donor where appropriate
  • The applicable conditions
  • The appropriate record, receipting and tax deductibility.
  • The acknowledgment and eligibility for Foundation membership of the donor

5. Investment of gifts and preserved funds

As set out in the Trust Deed and subject to the Library Act 1939, the Foundation has the power to invest money from gifts. This investment is done in accordance with the Investment Policy of the Foundation.

6. Responsibilities

The Director, Foundation, supported by the Foundation office, has the authority and responsibility to administer gifts.

The Director reports to the Chief Operating Officer in the Operations Division.

The Director is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the Library’s administration of gifts to ensure that gifts are used to the best advantage of the State Library
  • Acting as the principal contact point for maintaining the donor’s confidence and good will in the Library
  • Ensuring that all relevant information relating to gift administration is appropriately conveyed to donors and other stakeholders
  • Ensuring operational decisions and implementation measures are in place to satisfy its duties and obligations towards the donor or supporter and that State Library conditions attached to a gift are adequate to ensure its effective application
  • Approving business processes for gift administration
  • Approving the annual Gift administration program  and implementing measures to ensure its effective operation
  • Administering and maintaining the electronic Gift register which includes the registration of donation and bequest monies received
  • Managing the information held by the Foundation together with other authorised staff in accordance with the Privacy & Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
  • Receiving, processing, banking and receipting donation and bequest monies
  • Liaising with other divisions of the State Library regarding the administration of gifts

The Chief Operating Officer who acts as Honorary Treasurer to the Foundation is responsible for establishing appropriate financial arrangements to implement this policy including:

  • Ensuring that systems and controls are in place for acceptance of gifts as required under NSW Treasury directions
  • Maintaining a complete and accurate set of accounts which reflect receipting and application of gifts received in compliance with relevant legislation
  • Ensuring that there is an auditable trail of activity in relation to the use of gift funds
  • Providing information and reports on gift expenditure and acquittal to the Foundation Office, Foundation Board and Trustees
  • Providing the Financial Statements and reports in accordance with the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 and Regulation 2015, Australian Accounting Standards and the provision so the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991  for  the end of year with the NSW Audit Office
  • Providing reports on the performance of invested funds consistent with the terms of the Investment Policy

7. Reporting requirements

The Director reports regularly through the Chief Operating Officer and the State Librarian. The Director also provides information and reporting to the Foundation Board, and the Trustees.

The Foundation office will prepare an annual report, including a financial report detailing the extent to which the Library complies with its gift management obligations.

The Auditor General of NSW authorises the financial statements in accordance with the Australian Auditing standards.

8. Related key legislation

9. Related policies

  • Recognition of Support Policy: Naming Rights Document
  • Code of Conduct - Library Council of New South Wales  - This policy summarises the expectations of ethical conduct of members of Library Council and all members of committees established by Library Council. 
  • Staff Code of Ethics and Conduct - The Code outlines the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of all staff of the State Library.
  • Financial Delegations Policy  -  This policy identifies position titles and their respective limits of financial delegations under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983.
  • Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy  - This policy is designed to ensure that the State Library establishes and maintains a healthy ethical culture.
  • Gifts and Benefits Policy and Procedures - This policy and procedure outlines the requirements of Library staff with regards to the management of gifts and benefits.
  • Guidelines for major donors and sponsors  - This guideline is used for determining the nature and reciprocity of philanthropic and sponsorship proposals.
  • Public Interest Disclosures Policy and Procedure - This policy states the requirements for staff to understand their responsibilities, to encourage the reporting of wrongdoing.

10. Other related documents

11. Definitions

  • Bequest is a gift made by a will.
  • Donation is a voluntary transfer of money or property to the State Library of New South Wales or the State Library of New South Wales Foundation by way of benefaction where no material benefit is received by the donor from the State Library or Foundation in return.
  • Donation in kind means a donation other than money or property and may include goods or services.
  • Donor is a person, body corporate or other organisation that has made a gift.
  • Donor Charter means the statement of the State Library’s commitments to donors, which is set out in Attachment 1.
  • Gift is a donation, a donation in kind, or a bequest made voluntarily by a donor.
  • Gift administration program is the annual timetable of activities needed to administer the State Library’s gift portfolio and detail the allocation of responsibility for undertaking those activities.
  • Gift Register means the electronic register containing details of the terms and conditions of the gifts received by the State Library.
  • Property is real property and personal property including rights and interests that are capable of ownership and have a value.
  • Trust Deed is the legal entity setting out the Foundation’s objects, powers and governance.

Attachment 1 - Donor Charter

The State Library of NSW has a distinguished history of philanthropic support from generous individual, family and corporate benefactors.

The Library’s future success depends on the generosity of our readers, donors and friends to achieve the agreed goals of the Library and the priorities which follow from them. The Library sustains projects that enhance learning, enable acquisitions and collection conservation programs whilst always aiming to improve access to the collection in diverse ways.

When the Library accepts a financial or other gift, it will:

  • Ensure that gifts are treated in accordance with the agreed terms concluded between the Library and the donor
  • Commit to use donations effectively for the intended purposes
  • Provide a tax-deductible receipt that confirms the receipt date and value of the donation
  • Appropriately acknowledge and publicise donations in consultation with donors (respecting anonymity where requested) in order to ensure recognition consistent with policy and donor agreements
  • Comply with the Privacy & Personal Information Act and any other general public legislative and policy obligations
  • Provide progress reports and updates to donors on the acquittal of their gift in line with the Library’s protocols and published policy
  • Provide donors with the Library’s most recent published financial accounts and other relevant financial information in the Annual Report
  • Bestow membership of the Foundation in accordance with the Library’ s Trust Deed
  • Ensure that Library staff engaged in donor liaison do not grant or accept favours for personal gain and avoid conflicts of interest as required by internal policy
  • Keep donors updated about the impact of their philanthropy and the State Library’s needs and priorities as they evolve over time.

How the Library will use your donation:

  • Where a donor has an agreed restriction on the application of a donation, the Foundation will apply the gift for that purpose in line with the final agreement
  • All donations, when undesignated, will be added to the Library’s unrestricted funds and will be applied against the priorities identified by the State Librarian and Library Council from time to time.