Naming Opportunities: Don’t Miss Them

Plants growing out of coins

Those shops that are best able to leverage naming opportunities to secure gifts and to steward long-term relationships with donors will be those that have thought ahead.

Even as more institutions look to launch new campaigns -- often increasingly ambitious ones in terms of their dollar goals -- donors are increasingly interested in attaching their names to philanthropic projects representative of their values. Those shops that are best able to leverage these opportunities to secure gifts and to steward long-term relationships with donors will be those that have thought ahead -- those that have an intentional plan in place for how opportunities for naming gifts will be identified and managed.

Over the past two years, we have interviewed Vincent Duckworth, partner at ViTreo and one of the leading experts on naming opportunities in higher education, frequently on this subject. Here are some of the highlights from the advice he has shared with us.

Creating a Naming Opportunities Plan

To move from a reactive to a proactive approach to opportunities for soliciting naming or renaming gifts, Duckworth recommends assembling a specific and well-defined naming opportunities plan to be shared internally. "You don't have to put this out in the New York Times and ask donors to pick facilities like cheese sticks from a menu," he notes, "but your people need to be on the same page about the naming opportunities available."

"Often the naming plan is an afterthought after someone asks. But then the first to ask determines the value for later gifts."
Vincent Duckworth,ViTreo


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An Additional Training Resource: Nuts & Bolts of an Effective Naming Policy

Register online now to learn how to develop a naming policy appropriate for your institution. Using real examples from American and Canadian institutions, participants will learn the fundamentals of:

  • Differentiating among policies for different naming opportunities
  • Calculating space values
  • Procuring board approval
  • Marketing available opportunities
  • De-naming and naming length considerations

Learn more here.