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.

While we learned that 90% of those respondents, do raise monies for these efforts, only a very small percentage publicly recognize those gifts/donors with some sort of plaque or other 3D recognition element somewhere on campus or inside a building.

Look at this table for more details and see the actual questions asked at the end of this blog. The table highlights a very large discrepancy between how often facility-based namings are publicly recognized when compared to non facility-based giving.  This is not right and really makes no sense in today’s economy.

Also, it is interesting to note that except for an acknowledgment letter, take-home gifts, and online/printed lists, these large named gifts are significantly under-appreciated in all the other recognition methods we asked about in our survey.

Bottomline: It’s time to rethink these outdated practices.  In these economic times, gifts/donors of equal value MUST be acknowledged in like ways.

For your further study, here are the questions we asked:

Does your institution currently offer non-facility-based naming opportunities, such as scholarships, named chairs and professorships and/or special programs?

Yes; No; No, but we plan to

If your institution does currently offer non-facility-based naming opportunities, such as scholarships, named chairs and professorships and/or special programs, how are they recognized? (check all that apply)

Special event; Take-home gift; Physical recognition element on the interior of a facility; Physical recognition element on the exterior of a facility; Printed list in an annual or other hardcopy publication; Online listing; Other

How are facility-based naming opportunities of comparable gift amounts recognized? (check all that apply)

Special event; Take-home gift; Physical recognition element on the interior of a facility; Physical recognition element on the exterior of a facility; Printed list in an annual or other hard copy publication; Online listing; Other

Written by: Robin E. Williams


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