Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is Foundation money invested?

A: The Foundation invests and protects its donors’ tax deductible investments with the help of Stifel, a private investment firm, located at 7 North Federal Avenue, Mason City. The Foundation has annually been able to give approximately 4% of the invested principal to the Library. As donations increase the principal invested, the Foundation is able to increase the amount given each year.  

Q: What is the difference between the Foundation and the Friends of the Library?  

A:  The Friends of the Library is a nonprofit advocacy organization which uses volunteers from the community to visibly support the library through advocacy, education, and annual fundraising. The Friends currently have nearly 200 members which attend library events and volunteer to assist with special projects throughout the year. This group’s primary fundraiser, an annual geranium sale, funds a summer reading program for children and young adults. (For more information, see Friends of the Library.) The Foundation seeks private support for selected capital improvements, services, and programs in addition to support provided by the Friends.  

Q: Why is it better to give to the Mason City Public Library through the Foundation rather than through the City of Mason City?

A: As the main funding source for the Mason City Public Library, the City of Iowa City is crucial to the Library’s success. However, donations given to the City must comply with state rules that may limit how dollars are used. That why donations to the Foundation allow for quicker, more flexible responses to opportunities that come up too quickly for the City to respond to with budget allocations. Channeling your tax-deductible donations through the Foundation gives the Library fiscal flexibility as it responds to the needs of the community. See Accomplishments for a few of the many ways that dollars allocated through the Foundation have helped make big differences.

Q: What are the naming rights for the Library? 

A: With gifts of $15,000 or greater, naming rights can be discussed.

Q. Who can I contact to ask a question? 

A. Contact: