Giving Opportunities

Contributions of all sizes make a difference and there are many ways to give. The following options allow donors to find the form of giving that fits them best:

The Washington University Libraries have programs that offer donors a meaningful way to pay tribute to loved ones, friends, colleagues, and others.

Honor with Books provides for the purchase of new books.

Legacy of Books provides for the repair or preservation of materials in our collections.

Gifts-in-Kind are donations of books and other materials that can enrich the Libraries’ holdings.

Another way donors can help the Libraries is by giving without specifying how a gift must be used. Gifts of any size can be of invaluable help. These gifts can be given annually and enable the Libraries to spend where the need is greatest.

Gift recognition is available for each program. Donors who give $100 or more annually become Century Club members. Donors who give $1,000 or more annually become Eliot Society members.

Endowments last forever. The names associated with endowments endure. Whitman, Arnold, Neureuther, and Wickes are a few of the names spoken in the Libraries. Mr. Neureuther gave the Libraries an endowment to buy books that would encourage students to read-and it is working. One student told the dean, “All the good books in the library have a Carl Neureuther bookplate in them!” Endowments make the difference between a good library and a great one.

Endowment income has supported the acquisition of new electronic databases, a lecture series, and the preservation of rare books and film. It increases the Libraries’ book purchasing power and allows the Libraries to provide patrons with extensive and up-to-date computers, software, and other technological tools.

Today, even the most affluent university libraries struggle to provide enough financial support to keep up with the ongoing need for new resources. A gift or bequest of $25,000 or more will establish a named endowment for the Libraries. Gifts are recognized on a donor wall in the main library.

A planned gift is any gift that requires the assistance of a professional staff person or the donor’s advisors to complete, or a gift that is carefully considered by a donor in light of estate and financial plans. The gift can be for any amount and for any purpose, whether current or deferred.

There are several ways to make a planned gift.

  • Bequests – The most frequently used planned gift option is a bequest in your will. Charitable bequests are fully deductible for estate tax purposes.
  • Life Income Gifts – Easily established, trusts and annuity gifts can offer you an immediate tax deduction and lifetime income.
  • Gifts of Personal Residence or Farm – Such gifts can provide you with an immediate tax deduction as well as lifetime use of the property.
  • Charitable Lead Trusts – Generation-skipping provisions allow assets to pass to your grandchildren after providing income to the University for a period of years.

For further information on planned gifts, visit the website for Washington University’s Office of Planned Giving or contact Shannon Sowell, Director of Development for University Libraries.

Whether given through programs, endowments, or plans, gifts contribute to the Libraries’ crucial role of building distinctive collections, preserving rare materials, and pioneering new programs.


The research and teaching needs of WU faculty and students are so extensive, specific, and pressing that there is an on-going demand for more titles. Gifts aid the Libraries’ acquisition of premier research materials.


Library collections suffer over time, from normal aging and from use. Gifts extend the lives of our circulating collections as well as our rare books and unique film and video materials, and put these materials back in the hands of researchers.

Programs and Services

Gifts help the Libraries continue to serve the community in many ways, from beautiful spaces to study and a growing number of digital collections and the Film & Media Archive, to educating users and hosting cultural events.

Make your gift now, or for more information on giving, contact Shannon Sowell, Senior Associate Director of Development for University Libraries at or 314-935-5219.

Make A Gift