Naming Opportunity Strategy
Naming opportunities are a familiar tool for securing and recognizing major gifts. This practice is now used by all types fundraising organizations and can address both physical spaces, like a building or office, or a concept, like a center or a faculty position. The money raised is used in a variety of ways, often in support of programs or service delivery. On recent plaques, we see fewer examples of the generic “this room made possible by” and more specific detail conveyed about donor motivation for making the gift and the impact that giving has had on the institution and those it serves.
In response to these more varied circumstances, Heurista works with clients to develop better mechanisms for presenting the information and tell better donor stories. This is especially important for donor recognition that is a permanent part of the architectural environment. The visual presentation and the messages conveyed must attract the largest possible audience and withstand the test of time. They should be coordinated with the architecture and demonstrate the style of the organization in material selection, graphic design and word choice. The design should highlight the donor and the impact of the gift. The fundraising institution’s brand should be subdued and not compete with recognition of the donor. In almost all situations, the location conveys the identity of the institution, so a logo is not required.
The Greenville Health System (GHS) has adopted donor recognition standards that guide consistency in recognition product outcomes while allowing for architectural integration and variety based on the story to be told. For instance, a gift minimum has been established for the naming of a center. The design standards for a gift of that level indicate the use of dimensional letters to formally name the space, a small cast bronze portrait of the donors, a story about the donors and a history panel. The history panel is used to convey the goals and accomplishments that attracted the donor to the mission and the impact on future service that the gift will achieve. Within their donor recognition program, gifts at this level warrants feature wall treatment including focused lighting and either a custom paint color with a translucent panel or wood paneling. These standards are the starting place for choosing a location for the donor recognition product, but the program is flexible enough to allow for a variety of configurations to adapt to the space. Product solutions for interior and exterior locations have been decided.
POSTED BY ANNE MANNER-MCLARTY • November 16, 2016