Chairs, Professorships and Scholarships are Underappreciated on Campus

November 19th, 2009

In our recent survey to Georgia Education Advancement Council members, who are responsible for fundraising and communication efforts at the state’s colleges and universities, we learned a lot about methods and attitudes related to non facility-based gift recognition. By that term I mean, gifts aimed at named chairs, professorships and scholarships as opposed to those that name a room or building.

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Lovely vs Functional Displays

November 16th, 2009

Just a quick word of warning to those of you about to sign that contract with your favorite vendor for a lovely display . . . is that display also functional?  Will it become another pretty thing that you outgrow or find disappointing in its ability to serve over time?

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“Buying Legacy”: Donors RARELY give for self-serving reasons!

November 11th, 2009

A recent Bloomberg article blew my mind!  It’s titled, Getting Your Name on a Building Gets Cheaper as Non-Profits Compete. The article considers the possibility that donors may be able to negotiate gift amounts for naming opportunities during this economic crisis. True enough.  Yet it also calls the act of giving “the price for immortality,” claiming that donors “buy” recognition.  Nowhere in the article is there any mention of the basic tenet that donors give out of passion for a cause and that they do so to advance the mission of the organization.  I’m offended on behalf of all philanthropists and fundraisers.  I can only hope that the fundraising consultants mentioned in the article were misquoted to serve the author’s sarcastic premise. Continue reading »

Anonymous Donors Deserve Permanent Recognition. Fundraisers Benefit too.

November 6th, 2009

Anonymous Donor Plaque

This week Amherst College in Massachusetts announced two impressive gifts, $100 million and $25 million, both made by graduates who asked to remain anonymous.  Emory’s Winship Cancer Center recently received $4.7 million anonymously.  Earlier this year, more than a dozen colleges and universities received multi-million dollar donations from an anonymous donor who worked through financial advisors to guarantee that not even the institutions knew the origin of the gifts.  Despite the donors’ requests to be anonymous, it is imperative that these gifts receive permanent, public recognition.

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