Named spaces are a great way to reinforce long-term relationships with your donors. As part of a thorough fundraising and stewardship plan, they can be the glue that connects your donor's passion to your cause for a generation. Once reserved for high-level donors during capital campaigns, they no longer have to be. The possibilities for naming opportunities to involve mid-level donors are limited only by your creativity. Think about your naming opportunities like a Russian Stacking Doll. There are layers upon layers of possibilities, from naming a building to a department to a wing, and then down to auditoriums, libraries, labs, classrooms, and patient rooms – AND if you have exterior space, the opportunities extend to gardens, benches, trees, and pathways. Basically, if it is visible and accessible to the public, there is potential for donor recognition value.
One key to acquiring high-level donors is to develop prominent, highly visible naming opportunities. To find the best match for these opportunities, consider what you know about your different donor personas. Find out what is important to them and create opportunities that match the donor's interests. But remember, donors are not giving to your organization so they can see their name attached to a building. Although recognition makes the donor feel appreciated and valued, they are giving because they believe in your cause and your commitment to the community and as a way to contribute to their legacy. When you connect donors to the results of their giving while publicly sharing how meaningful that relationship is, you develop a lasting relationship for generations to come.
With naming opportunities around every corner of your campus, building, or exterior space, what is the best way to make a visual statement of support for your mission? We recommend plaque systems to go along with your donor wall or digital display. They are important for recognition and as a model to other potential donors. Plaque systems are a great way to display a hierarchical format to represent different giving levels and create a consistent theme to match traditional donor walls. “Neighborhood” plaques may also be used to recognize a group of donors who have named spaces within a specific area of the facility, especially when they are not as visible to the general public.
So, how do you find all the possible naming opportunities spread across your entire campus? The most efficient and effective way is to utilize PDG’s inventory audit team to perform an on-site donor recognition audit. Our professional audit team can complete inventories of previously named spaces and available naming opportunities in 2 to 5 days. As we work on your campus and document what we find, we are often able to identify funding opportunities your team may have missed.
If you already have a team in place and want to tackle the inventory audit in-house, PDG can also help with that. There is now an inventory collection app for your donor recognition assets. Better still, a free inventory collection app designed by PDG to help you do more in fewer steps. It’s called Giftmap Acorn. With Giftmap Acorn, you can search your inventory by Donor, Building, and Floor or quickly sort your inventory by Record, Donor, and Building. Multiple users can even collect inventory on one device.
Acorn allows you to deploy teams to collect inventories, and straightforward export tools help you move the information from multiple devices to a central computer file. The collected data can be exported from Acorn independently or even synced with Giftmap, which connects your inventory lists and photos to locations on dynamic campus maps and building floor plans.
Now that your inventory audit is complete, how will you organize and display all of your current named spaces and available naming opportunities for your fundraising team to utilize? How will you systematically track which opportunities are available, which are being held for a particular donor, and which are already reserved? To solve these problems, PDG created Giftmap, a dynamic data and mapping tool designed to document and manage the location of donor recognition assets across your campuses, buildings, and exterior spaces. Too often, professionals in the world of fundraising have to deal with the confusion and disorganization of using multiple spreadsheets, highlighters, and maps strewn across a conference table to track donor recognition. Giftmap helps you discover and realize your full fundraising potential by identifying and accurately tracking every naming opportunity making your team’s work easier and more effective. Robust searchability, promotional photos, and detailed descriptions help your fundraising team present donors with the opportunities most relevant to them in an attractive package.
Remember, when it comes to naming opportunities, be creative, develop prominent and highly visible spaces, personalize the opportunity to the donor, consider a hierarchical plaque system, and be organized by systematically tracking what spaces are available and already reserved.
Join our mailing list today to receive updates on Giftmap and Presentation Design Group’s latest projects and blog posts. We look forward to sharing some of the insights we’ve found through our own research and experiences over the past 40 years.