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What’s in a Name? Master Tips on Donor Signage for Capital Projects

Shawn Fleming 

Wednesday, September 25
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Session Description 

Naming opportunities are essential elements of a capital campaign. Yet the physical symbols of namings – donor signage – may not be unveiled until many years after agreements are signed. Beyond fulfilling contractual obligations, donor signage delivers important messages about an institution and its top supporters. Done well, it inspires confidence and strengthens relationships; done poorly, it becomes a costly lesson to both an institution and its donors. Learn how crossing department lines and today’s planning tools can help ensure every capital naming and donor signage experience is outstanding. 

About the Presenter

Shawn Fleming
Associate Director, Naming Opportunities and Donor Signage
University of California, San Francisco

Shawn Fleming is Associate Director of Naming Opportunities and Donor Signage at University of California, San Francisco – a top-ranked public research institution dedicated exclusively to public health and patient care. She has over twenty years’ experience at educational institutions, focusing exclusively on donor communications and stewardship for the last five years. Areas of expertise include capital projects and major renovations; opportunity pricing, marketing materials, and solicitation proposals; exterior, interior, legacy, and digital signage; and signage fabrication and installation methods. 

Session Details

Target Audience

Private College/University, Public College/University, Healthcare, Arts Organization, Other non-profit, Other


Suitable for all levels

Shop Size

Suitable for any size shop

Session Keywords

Campaigns, Design Thinking, Donor Experience, Major Donors, Naming Opportunities

Learning Objectives

The audience will be able to apply session content to planning physical recognition at their institutions, primarily for capital campaigns, but content is also applicable to naming existing structures and spaces. Main takeaways are:

  1. Partner with your architect and developer at the start of a project.
  2. Utilize building model software to plan signage locations in advance (and low-tech alternatives).
  3. Address hidden issues that can negatively impact outcomes