A Recognition Policy “Moment”!

August 5th, 2015

Jot it down.  Whenever current events indicate an imminent “sea change” in the ways you thank and recognize donors, “jot it down”! The Cosbys “gift-return” is one of those moments.

Donor recognition policies, or the absence of them, are suddenly in the headlines.

This article about the giving back of Cosby monies says that the Cosby gift is not a large part of the Spelman endowment. Maybe not now.  But when it was given it was, indeed, significant! Even useful in garnering new donors.  It simply should be known that when that gift was given this couple were key donors to that Spelman campaign.

That Cosby gift changed the perception of Spelman as viable entity to which to give.  And now is not a time to minimize the impact of that gift or the transformational importance of the givers to the organization.

Nor must we celebrate them or that gift further.

It seems current events have led Spelman to remove the “Cosby” name from public namings/events associated with Spelman College.

Whatever you think of that action…..Think about yourself! Do you have a a written policy in place on how to handle such a situation ? Let someone else’s “truth” be a policy-making moment for your organization!!! Capture it. Codify it. Get it revised and/or approved and move on.DSCN3082 copy

A written “Policy” to me is a living document, kept alive through an efficient process meant to move idea-and-inquiry through a thorough evaluation.  Policies will never be comprehensive with all things considered. But managed with care, they can always provide reference and history for on-going decision-making.  If done well, a policy can exist as a logical, methodical reference of decisions made and that were meant to guide recognition and commemorative protocol with an equally methodical process in place to incite further change when needed.

Just continue to look to current events and trends to prepare for/insulate your organization against the future.