Over the past 50 years, we have helped many clients develop and execute successful “Name a Seat” campaigns. Universities and colleges often enjoy overwhelming support for named seats in athletic complexes and lecture halls. And the program is a natural fit for theaters and opera houses.
Here are a few quick tips for planning your next “Name a Seat” campaign:
- Choose a material that will last. Be it a bench, chair or desk – indoor or outdoor – seat plaques get some rough wear and tear. We usually recommend a brushed metal or a durable Corian, depending on the surrounding décor
- Order in batches. This is a good one to keep in mind from the start. The initial order will likely be your largest. As gifts roll in one by one, be sure to let you donors know that new nameplates will be made quarterly, biannually or annually so that you can achieve the best engraving price with quantity efficiencies. Setting realistic donor expectations will save you time and money.
- Inventory each plaque as it is placed. Keeping a digital record of each and every donor recognition item in an institution is best practices in stewardship. Be sure to take a photo record and update your donor recognition tracker to reflect the location, material, donor and honoree information. If you do not currently have a tracking system in place, see LegacyCurator™
And while “Name a seat” campaigns are not a new concept, innovative fundraisers are finding engaging new ways to communicate and promote the giving opportunity.
Our friend and colleague, Chris Conroy of Heartwood Media did a wonderful job in helping Plymouth State University advance their naming opportunities, for not only seat naming but also major gifts. Take a look: http://www.plymouth.edu/advancement/giving-to-psu/stand-up-for-psu/
What have you found to be successful (or not so successful) in your “Name a Seat” campaign?