Rookie fundraisers make the mistake of thinking it is vanity that motivates hospitals to name a building after a major donor.
The truth is that when a living donor allows a hospital to name a building after them, it could be viewed as part of the donation and not just a reward for the ego.
For example, when St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis recently renamed its pediatric facility after Peyton Manning, it did so because of the money the football star's name would attract.
"By Peyton lending his name to our organization, he'll take a much more active role to help us raise additional funds," said St. Vincent Health Chief Executive Vince Caponi shortly before the name change. "As you can imagine, Peyton knows a lot of people I don't know."Daniel Lee reported today at the Indianapolis Star that St. Vincent has said only that Manning and his wife, Ashley, made an unspecified donation, but the couple requested that the nature of the gift remain private.
St. Vincent seems to be wasting little time preparing to reach all of those people.Kim Gattle, director of development and communications for the Center on Philanthropy at IU, called it "a gift of his social capital." So how much do I think Peyton's name is worth?
Since the Sept. 5 unveiling of the new name, St. Vincent has appointed a director of development, Michele Rodger Spencer, for the children's hospital. It is the first time St. Vincent will have a fundraising chief dedicated to its children's facility.
St. Vincent will set specific fundraising goals in the next month or two, said Kevin Speer, chief strategy officer. He added, "Putting Peyton's name on the building, it thrust us into a national spotlight overnight."
...oh wait! Before you answer, maybe it would be helpful to remember some other recent use of social capital on January 1, 2007. Britney Spears was paid $240,000 for her now-classic fainting performance at PURE on New Year's Eve. To count down from 10 to one and wish the crowd a Happy New Year, she was paid $16,000 a syllable.