Halifax Central Library Naming and Recognition Signage Policy


It is a long-standing and honorable custom for not-for-profit institutions to name or apply recognition signage to existing and proposed tangible and non-tangible assets in honour of benefactors and others who have made exceptional contributions to the institution and its mission or to the broader local, national or international community.

Naming or recognition signage provides meaningful opportunities for the recognition of outstanding contributions by those who serve as inspiration for future generations of the institution’s community. Further, by recognizing exceptional contributions to the institution, or the mission of the institution, the association with such extraordinary individuals strengthens the institution and its sense of heritage and connection to the community it serves. The ceremonies held to mark such recognition represent significant events in an institution’s history.

The naming of an institution’s assets is of considerable significance to an institution for several reasons:

  1. The choice of persons selected for such recognition reflects how an institution perceives itself, its mission and its values;
  2. The institutional assets available for naming or recognition signage are limited while the number of individuals/corporations who could potentially be honored is much greater – the limited number of naming or recognition signing opportunities must therefore be used judiciously;
  3. Names are usually attached to a particular asset in perpetuity or for the life of the asset, while recognition signage is usually affixed for an agreed upon length of time; and,
  4. Care must be taken to ensure consistency in the tribute paid by the Library to its benefactors and other meritorious persons.

This Policy has been drafted as a means of ensuring that the above reasons, and the process and principles that guide the naming of the Halifax Central Library’s assets and application of recognition signage are clearly articulated, understood and uniformly applied by all those involved.

Halifax Public Libraries ascribes to the Fundraising Code of Ethics as defined by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and follows CRA guidelines in the negotiation and acceptance of all gifts. Library staff, community volunteer canvassers and the Halifax Regional Library Board entrusted to do fundraising on behalf of the Library commit to upholding these industry defined best practices for fair and transparent donor relations.


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for Naming opportunities and Recognition Signage for the physical recognition of gifts to support the Halifax Public Libraries and affiliated programs. These guidelines are intended to provide structure and baseline definitions for the Library, which in turn will help ensure equitable, consistent opportunities and a standard of stewardship of significant transformational gifts received from generous donors. Private donations enable the Halifax Public Libraries to enhance the level, extend the range and improve the quality of our collections and services to the community. Halifax Public Libraries strives to offer donors equitable and consistent opportunities to be recognized and acknowledged for their support of the mission of the Library. These guiding principles should allow us to achieve this goal.

Definition of Gift, Naming, and Recognition Signage

  1. Gift refers to a donation including a pledge payable over a number of years, but for the purposes of Naming and Recognition Signage does not include revocable gifts.
  2. Naming refers to the recognition a donor receives for a gift of ($500,000) or more. Naming may apply to a room, centre, or area included in the building itself. Naming recognition will be directly reflected in all references to the room, centre, or area funded by the donor through signage, directional tools, and other materials such as media releases, publications, and internal and external communication, as appropriate.
  3. In negotiating with donors, the Library Senior Management Team and Library Board members need to ensure that donors understand that even when a physical space or fund will be named for them, they do not control the details of the administration and application of gift details including construction, furnishings, etc.
  4. Recognition or Dedication Signage refers to a plaque or identifier that acknowledges a donor’s contribution to the Library. Recognition Signage does not imply Naming.

The physical area where Dedication Signage resides will preferably have a direct connection with the area funded by the donor. While this is optimal, it is recognized that instances may occur when this option is not viable. In those instances, the Library staff will work with the donor to find a suitable space for Recognition Signage.


  1. All property under the umbrella of the Halifax Central Library will have the opportunity to be Named, with the exception of the building itself. Naming opportunities will be offered to donors by the Library in accordance with this policy.
  2. It is the responsibility of individuals negotiating on behalf of the Library with potential benefactors that the acceptance of any philanthropic donation involving a proposal to name is conditional upon final approval of the naming by Halifax Regional Library Board.
  3. Final approval for Naming a room, centre or area within the building will be the responsibility of the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management and the Halifax Regional Library Board.
  4. Final approval for Naming an endowed program will be the responsibility of the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management and the Halifax Regional Library Board.
  5. approval for Recognition Signage will be authorized by the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management in accordance with any such protocols and policies that the Institution may have in place. Such signage will be consistent with Halifax Regional Library signage standards.

Naming Opportunities and Donations

  1. Opportunities to Name rooms, centres, or areas will be presented to individuals, foundations, community groups and/or corporations identified by the Library.
  2. The standard for Naming a specific room, centre, or area will take into consideration other naming opportunities in the Canadian market and be concurrent with the objectives of the Library. Each Naming opportunity is unique and the desirability, visibility, prominence, and traffic flow of the specific room, centre, or area will guide the donation level that is suitable for a Naming opportunity. Likewise, the Naming of a specific room, centre or area does not mean that the programs or physical spaces within an area are included in that Naming opportunity.
  3. The donation amount for a Naming opportunity for each room, centre or area, will be determined and approved by the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management and Halifax Regional Library Board as the plans for each area are prepared. In general, the gift level required for Naming each room, centre or area should reflect at least 50% of the construction cost but also take into consideration the elements in clause 3.2 above.

Recognition Signage and Donations

  1. Recognition Signage will be offered to any donor for gifts that range from $100,000 – $500,000. The Recognition Signage will be in the form of a standardized plaque with wording approved by the Library’s Senior Management. This will include those donors who collaborate together to contribute a significant amount to the Library; however, signs will be consistent with other recognition signage in size and placement. Plaques will contain the name of the honoree(s) and the date of dedication or, as appropriate, the date on which the project was substantially completed.
  2. Donors who wish to remain anonymous or decline a Naming opportunity or Recognition Signage may be offered a recognition piece for their home or office, if so desired.
  3. Recognition of gifts from $5,000 up to $99,999 will be acknowledged on a donor wall to be located in the Halifax Central Library.


  1. Where a room, centre, or area has been Named, the Library will continue to utilize the Name as long as the room, centre, or area remains in use to serve its original function.
  2. When the use of the room, centre, or area is changed or altered such that it must be demolished, substantially renovated, or rebuilt, it is within the discretion of the Halifax Regional Library to retain the use of the Name, Name another comparable area, or discontinue the use of the Name. When it is proposed that the use of the Name not be maintained, approval of the Halifax Regional Library Board will be required. Historic replacement of Naming will occur on-site at a designated area.
  3. Recognition Signage will be displayed for a period of up to 15 years. If the area where the signage resides is demolished, substantially renovated, or rebuilt within the agreed upon recognition period, the Recognition Signage will continue to be displayed in an appropriate location. After the agreed upon recognition period is complete, the Recognition Signage may be relocated for display or acknowledgment.
  4. Under special circumstances, recognition of gifts in perpetuity will be considered. The decision to recognize a gift in perpetuity will be determined by the gift level and will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Halifax Regional Library Board.

Naming and Recognition Signage “In Memory”

Halifax Public Libraries recognizes that Naming and Recognition Signage In Memory of a loved one is a wonderful way to honour a life. Suggested wording will be provided and approved by the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management Team.

Gifts of Art

Gifts of Art may have a small plaque to indicate that the art is a donation to the Library. The type of plaque and wording will be consistent with the standards created for such purposes.

Non-Fulfillment of Pledges

With the approval of the Halifax Regional Library Board of Directors, Halifax Public Libraries reserves the right to withdraw Naming opportunities if a donor defaults on a pledge payment or payments.

Change or Modification of Name

Where a donor has been recognized with Naming or Recognition Signage and the donor changes or alters their name, replacing or changing the existing signage will be at the expense of the donor.

Gift Agreements

Whenever a gift requiring naming or recognition signage is negotiated a gift agreement must be created and signed by the donor and the Halifax Regional Library Board.

Pre-Existing Naming Agreements

This policy does not apply to any arrangements that are in existence at the date the policy is adopted.

Exceptions and Revisions

Exceptions and/or revisions to this policy will be approved by the Halifax Regional Library Board.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed by the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management every 3 calendar years to ensure that the policy is reflective of the direction and philosophy of the Institution. Any changes to this policy must be approved by the Halifax Regional Library Senior Management, Halifax Regional Library Board and Halifax Regional Municipality, if necessary.

Revised: January 2013.

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