donor recognition guidelines and naming policies

4 Benefits to Having Formal Donor Recognition Guidelines & Naming Policies

If you’re presently in the throes of creating donor recognition guidelines and naming policies, you’re very likely sweating it out, realizing that doing them right can make you, and doing them wrong can break you.

And if you haven’t even started these crucial tasks yet, are you procrastinating because you realize how important it is to get them right the first time?

If so, this post will give you a roadmap, help reduce your stress, and set you on your way to a successful conclusion.

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Wondering where to start with your donor recognition guidelines and naming policies?
Book a 20 minute discussion with our fundraising expert to establish a roadmap for your policies.

Let’s say, for starters, that you have a new building or space, and you need to give it a name that will resonate not just today, but far into the future. Don’t put it off — as tempting as the idea might be — because that building or that space is a critical gateway to the revenue you need.

BUT DEVELOPING THOUGHTFUL NAMING POLICIES AND RECOGNITION GUIDELINES IS HARD WORK. HERE’S WHY IT’S NECESSARY:

Prudent naming policies help align internal teams, build your field staff’s confidence so they can work with donors more easily, and engage your internal audiences (facilities, marketing, fundraisers, etc.) in ways that no other method can when it comes to building tightknit, dedicated inhouse partnerships. 

donor recognition guidelines and naming policies

Having naming and recognition policies well in hand at critical moments pays huge dividends by bringing a sense of calm and consistency to the table. No one wants to be “sweating the small stuff” when a big donor comes calling, wanting to know how their sponsorship will be recognized and used. Having rock-solid naming policies and recognition guidelines in place will put you on a firm foundation so you exude confidence and can respond or inform without hesitation.

The four major benefits of having formal recognition guidelines and naming policies are:

1. Maximize donor experiences and relationships by viewing them as partners

Donor engagement is about creating shared experiences and reinforcing the impact of their continuing involvement.  Naming policies should reinforce and celebrate the shared impact between donors and the institutions they help support. 

Base your naming policies on the premise that your donors are crucial partners for accomplishing mutually held outcomes and aspirations, not just funders of your organization.

women looking at a donor recognition wall

2. Reinforce the true spirit of philanthropy

It’s a fact: Recognition is rarely the primary driver of philanthropy. There are numerous reasons why people make philanthropic investments; recognition is rarely at the top of the list. Most often, gifts are made to create a specific impact that is as equally important to your donors as it is to your organization.

3. Consistency is key

Well-developed naming policies bring consistency, equity, and elegance to your recognition process, thereby continuing to attract and retain philanthropists who resonate with your institution’s aims. A formal set of donor recognition guidelines & naming policies gives your staff the ability to show donors how their donation will be recognized and used. Having rock-solid naming policies and recognition guidelines in place will put you on a firm foundation so you exude confidence and can respond or inform without hesitation.

Furthermore, consistent naming policies can inform donors what area naming opportunities are available and what is need to get into the next giving society

3. Align internal teams

Developing a thoughtful set of naming policies is difficult work but it can help align internal teams. Your policies can bring great confidence to the field staff who work with your donors every day. In addition, they can also bring together internal audiences such as facilities, marketing, fundraisers, etc., in ways that no other topic can build internal partnership and alignment.

Are you wondering where to start with your donor recognition guidelines and policies? Book a meeting and let us help you establish a roadmap.

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