Are you doing your fair share?

Philanthropy is the lifeblood of nonprofits throughout our community and across the country. Kindness funds help to the homeless and downtrodden; children, who in many cases, would have to do without; medical and health support for so many who are out of other options; and so much more.

Our Spotlight on Philanthropy is designed to show you the inner workings of programs touching our community and, hopefully, encourage you to take a closer look.

Featured Charitable Organization:

NBPLF logo

Explain the purpose of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation (NBPLF).

The current Newport Beach Public Library Foundation was incorporated in 1994, and the original NBPLF was established in 1989 as a collaborative public-private partnership with the City of Newport Beach under the leadership of John and Elizabeth Stahr to raise funds and provide programming for the Newport Beach Public Library. The NBPLF raised $2.2 million in private funds with grassroots efforts, demonstrating widespread community support for a new Central Library. In July 1994, the vision for a new Central Library was realized. Over the past decade, the Foundation has contributed more than $7 million to fund programs, technologies and services for the 1.2 million people who use the four library branches annually.

The Foundation presents the following series annually:

–The Witte Lecture Series - 4 programs

–Library Live author lectures - 4 programs

–Medicine in Our Backyard, in conjunction with UCI Health - 8 programs

–Financial Workshops - 12 programs

–Book Discussion Group - 12 programs (Monthly)

In addition, the Foundation sponsors and gets grant-funded special projects, such as the recently completed Stories from the Sea.

How many people are serviced by the NBPLF?

In the year before the coronavirus pandemic ceased programming and visitation at the Central Library, the Foundation:

–Presented 56 programs.

–Reached 4,875 patrons.

–Broadcast 12 author videos and podcasts.

During the time the Library was closed due to the pandemic, the Foundation continued to provide programming for the Witte Lecture Series, Library Live, and Medicine in Our Backyard through Zoom and online recorded videos.

Spotlight on Newport Beach Public Library Dedina

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Photos courtesy of NBPLF

Serge Dedina, mayor of the City of Imperial Beach and co-founder and executive director of WILDCOAST speaking at a Library Live event. Honored as a 2016 Peter Benchley “Hero of the Sea,” he is the author of three books.

What services does the NBPLF provide?

In addition to programming, the Foundation raises funds for special projects for the Library, such as the state-of-the-art Media Lab, Recording Studio and Conference Rooms. The Foundation also provides funds for new technology, furnishings and capital improvements. 

Spotlight on Newport Beach Public Library Bloom

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Jonathan Bloom, speaking at Library Live, penned “American Wasteland: How American Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food” 

Why should people give? 

Contributions to the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation help make the Newport Beach Public Library accessible 24/7, with thousands of downloadable books, magazines and streaming films. Support of the Foundation allows the Newport Beach Library to offer the latest in technology – from the extraordinary media lab and sound studio, to computers, online teaching tools, literacy programs, college scholarship databases and more. In short, giving to the Foundation is what makes a good library a great library. 

How can they give?

People can donate to become Members at different donor levels and receive benefits related to that level. Donors can give online, by mail, or at the Library. The Foundation accepts personal checks and credit cards from Donor Advised Funds, stocks and gifts of securities, bequests and legacies. The Foundation has an endowment which assures that the Library will receive an annual grant from the Foundation. To give, go to

Spotlight on Newport Beach Public Library Goodwin

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Presidential historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” speaking at a Witte Lecture Series event

Can someone volunteer? If so, how? What opportunities are available?

People can volunteer to help with an event and on program committees. People can also volunteer on Board Committees, such as Fundraising, Membership and Finance.

Describe any internal clubs, partnerships, committees.

There are program committees for the Witte Lecture Series and Library Live lecture series. Volunteers can also serve on Board committees and can be nominated to serve on the Board of Directors.

Are there any major fundraisers?

Donors can contribute to the four-lecture series and receive special benefits if they are at the Library Leadership level of giving. 

Currently, the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation has not scheduled any special event fundraisers for this season. 

What are the names and titles of the leadership group, including board leaders?

Board of Directors

Karen Heath Clark, Esq. – Chair

Retired Partner Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Author

Kevin Barlow, MBA – Vice Chair 

Managing Director of Palo Capital

Dorothy Larson, CPA – Secretary 

Dorothy C. Larson CPA, An Accountancy Corporation

John G. Prichard, CFA – Treasurer 

President, Knightsbridge Asset Management, LLC

Jill Johnson-Tucker

Community Leader

Afsaneh Alisobhani

Community Leader

Janet Hadley, MSN

Community Leader

Johanna Kim

Community Leader

Bridget Smith

Attorney, Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP

Toby Larson, MA

Retired Teacher, Community Leader

Walter Stahr

Community Leader, Author

Lizanne Witte

Community Leader

Tammy Tang

Community Leader

Adrian Windsor, MA, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of English & Humanities, Coastline Community College

Felix Yan

Executive Director, JP Morgan

Library Board of Trustees Liaison

Kurt Kost 

Library Foundation Staff

Jerold D Kappel – Chief Executive Officer

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Kunga Wangmo-Upshaw – Director of Programs

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Shawn Boeker – Office Manager

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The offices of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation

Central Public Library

1000 Avocado Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Contact: Jerold D Kappel, CEO
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Spotlight on Philanthropy is underwritten by

OneRoot Foundation Logo

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