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June 7, 2017
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June 22, 2017

The Best Naming Policy is Having a Policy!

There are few things more fun during capital campaign planning than spreading the blueprints across a table and choosing the rooms and spaces that might be named.

It’s part of the dreaming not only of the space itself, but of the community of donors that will make it happen.

Providing opportunities to name spaces is a powerful incentive for some donors.  Others simply don’t care.

In all the campaigns we’ve worked on, we’ve never seen the full list of naming opportunities be snatched up.  But, it’s important to have them.

More importantly, it’s important to be aware of the perils associated with naming opportunities. We’ve written extensively about them in this blog over the years. For example, you can check out our piece on averting naming gift disasters.

Today, we simply want to share a tool to help you along the way and that’s a Sample Naming Policy.

You will see in the sample policy that there is lots of room for you to make the policy your own. For example, you may or may not want to put a “sunset clause” on a named gift — that’s the number of years that the naming lasts.

Even if you’re not in a capital campaign, your board should take the time to hash out the details of how you would handle a naming gift and establish a written policy.

You just never know when the issue might arise and, as we always say, you don’t want to be figuring out your policies when there’s actual money on the table! It doesn’t make for the clearest decision making.

So, go ahead and dream. And, while you’re at it, put in place the building blocks for a positive and transparent naming experience for you and the donor.

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