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Memorials/Honorariums re gift designation

  • 1.  Memorials/Honorariums re gift designation

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi everyone,

    I was reading past threads about Memorial notifications to families. I'm specifically wondering whether others include the gift designation in these family letters?  Currently, our letter lists the name and address of folks who made a gift in memory of their loved one, but not the dollar of the gift or the fund it was directed to.  We've had a member of our community strongly encouraging us to include the fund designation in the letters; it feels like this is a great gesture when a donor has directed their giving to a family fund, but if a donor has given to their own fund or anywhere else that isn't near & dear to the family, it feels like we may be unnecessarily opening up an issue that doesn't need to be there. Is donor privacy a concern here? Unsure.

    Have any of you faced this question and have advice on whether or not to include the gift designation in the template for the family's memorial notification letter?


    Gwen Donev
    Director of Advancement Services
    Gustavus Adolphus College

  • 2.  RE: Memorials/Honorariums re gift designation

    Posted 10 days ago
    We include the designation of the tribute gift in our letter to the honoree/family for years and had no issues with it so far.

    Marion Campbell
    Director, Gifts & Records
    Georgia State University Foundation

  • 3.  RE: Memorials/Honorariums re gift designation

    Posted 7 days ago
    I think your instincts on this are right Gwen.  At institutions I've been in we have not included that because it creates too many problems.  If a gift comes in directed to a fund that the family doesn't expect, it can create confusion.  Also, if the gifts are part of a naming opportunity, the family may feel like they have ownership over the gifts that were sent in memory of their loved one. 

    I understand why the community member feels that way, but it does have the potential to be a little problematic under the right circumstances.

    Dariel Dixon
    Manager of Gifts and Records
    North Carolina Central University

  • 4.  RE: Memorials/Honorariums re gift designation

    Posted 6 days ago
    Emory University includes the designation but is right there with you about not including the dollar amount. 

    I think it's good for the notification recipients to know the actual designation of the gift although I do understand the potential for problems.  It may be that there is more than one designation associated with the honoree or that the family has asked that gifts be given anywhere to a school.  

    Even if you do not supply the designation by default, I think it's fair to provide that information upon request.

    Best wishes,

    Karen Esterl
    Lead Applications Developer Analyst
    Emory University