Questions and Answers
July 2022 (updated 7/21/2022)
Why should the Friends consolidate with the Foundation?
The Friends and Foundation share a mission of supporting the Pacific Grove Public Library; both annually contribute funds and advocate jointly for the Library.
However, two separate organizations require two Boards, doubled meeting time for the Library Director, duplicate expenses such as for insurance, financial and tax services, mailing and other costs. Consolidating the Friends and Foundation saves money, volunteer and Library Director time, which can be put toward supporting the Library.
Consolidation provides organizational clarity. Funds from the Friends assist the Library with current and recurring needs. The Foundation secures the future of the Library through legacy giving and long-term investments. As one combined organization we can streamline our efforts, increasing our support to the Library through genuine cost savings, more effective use of donated dollars and time.
Will I still be a member of the Friends?
Yes! The PGPL Friends will still have members, and those members will continue to enjoy benefits such as invitations to special events, discounted rates at the Friends book sales and expanded opportunities to volunteer and support our Library.
Can I still donate to the Friends or the Foundation?
Yes! And we hope you will! The success of our Library depends on your continued support. After consolidation donations will be made to the new organization – the Pacific Grove Public Library Friends and Foundation.
Your membership contributions, and donations, help uphold our mission to support the Pacific Grove Public Library. The Board looks to the Library Director, and library staff, to identify the Library’s greatest needs and then works to financially support them from general and designated funds.
The Board annually designates donated funds to supplement the City budget. For example, the proceeds from our sales of used books are designated for the purchase of new Library books and materials. This helps the Library maintain essential services, such as their collections, as expenses and demand rise.
We also hold targeted fundraisers, such as the annual Monterey County Gives! campaign and “Bucks for Books” that help raise funds for specified areas. And we have designated gifts from generous donors who choose to support a special need or service, such as children’s services, local history, etc. or choose long-term giving through a stewardship or endowment fund.
It is the Board’s ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that designated gifts are used according to donor intent, adhering to the donor language that expresses how they wish their gifts to be used. This includes trust, estate and legacy gifts.
There are many ways to contribute, and all will remain available after consolidation. Interested in learning more? We’re here to help! Contact us at FriendsPGLib@gmail.com
Why change the Friends from a voting membership to a nonvoting membership?
Times have changed since the Friends became a nonprofit in 1974. Holding required annual member elections has become more complicated and costly. We estimate it takes about 40 hours of Board volunteer time, over three months, per annual election, and over a hundred dollars for paper, printing and postage.
The challenge of obtaining a vote of 1/6 of the membership to validate the election has grown more complicated. In the past, proxy voting (members assigning their voting rights to a Board Director) made in person voting possible when a quorum was not reached. Electronic meetings and voting aren’t possible for all our membership to access, complicating the quorum requirement.
Under contemporary best practices, nonprofits who are public charities such as the Friends (501c3s who further a charitable cause and serve the general public) are now commonly nonmember organizations. Membership organizations these days are more typically social clubs (country clubs or fraternities/sororities,) civic leagues, neighborhood associations, professional or labor organizations, who primarily exist to serve their members and not the public.
The Friends Board has researched this for over six months, sought nonprofit legal advice and voted unanimously to bring this recommendation to the membership.
When and how will I vote on these changes?
A written ballot will be mailed to you in early August, seeking approval of the change in the Restated Articles of Incorporation. The ballot will also ask for approval to change the name of the Friends to “Pacific Grove Public Library Friends and Foundation, Inc.”
Once the name changes will you give us something much shorter to write on our checks?
What a good idea! We suggest that PGPL F&F could be a shorter version of the Pacific Grove Public Library Friends and Foundation. We think that will fit.
How would the selection of Board Directors change if the membership becomes non-voting?
The Board Director recruitment and nomination process would not change, only the voting process.
Under the current organizational structure Directors are recruited by a Board Recruitment Committee, nominated by the Board and elected by the membership. The Board of Directors then nominates and elects Board Officers (President/Board Chair, Vice President, Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer, Secretary) from the Directors.
Under the proposed organizational structure Directors would be recruited by a Board Recruitment Committee, nominated and elected by the Board. Board Officers would still be nominated and elected from the Board.
Currently, the Friends Volunteer form, provided to every new and renewing Friends member, includes a checkbox to indicate interest in serving on a Board Committee or on the Board. The Board Recruitment Committee considers these Volunteer forms when a Board Recruitment is underway. This process would remain the same.
Where can I find more information?
You can read the letter to the Friends' Membership, letter to Foundation donors, and the current (2011) Restated Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Your mailed ballot will explain the proposed restatement and also contain the complete proposed Restated Articles of Incorporation; these will be available here on or before August 1.
In addition, the Board is happy to answer any questions you may have about the proposed changes. Please email your questions to: FriendsPGLib@gmail.com
An informational Zoom session will be held on Sunday, August 14 at 2 pm; a link will be emailed to members one week before the meeting.