British Library

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued.

The Brief

Philanthropy Company were commissioned by the British Library to provide research and guidance into naming opportunities for their major capital campaign.

The purpose of this project was to undertake research to evaluate the British Library’s physical spaces (both existing and as part of the capital build), digital assets, posts and programmes, and provide a philanthropic naming strategy and framework to make the best use of opportunities to recognise major donors in a consistent way aligned to the campaign goals.

Our Response

To allow the British Library to gain a good picture of the range of gift levels across the sector, we reviewed 92 naming opportunities across 30 institutions, ranging from the renaming of centres, buildings and schools to plaques mounted on chairs, bookcases and exhibition cases and totalling over £900 million. Based on these findings, and drawing on information provided by the British Library’s team, a comprehensive long list of over 70 possible naming opportunities at the British Library was presented and categorised, along with proposed donation levels. From this list, a shortlist of 10 priority areas was drawn, along with recommendations relating to the type of donor to which each opportunity might appeal.


The project concluded with a comprehensive report of our findings, including: a preliminary naming framework, laying out key considerations such as Gifts Agreements and Due Diligence; our benchmarking study findings; the long and shortlist of British Library naming opportunities; and recommended next steps for the British Library to take forward, embedding the naming strategy within the wider campaign fundraising strategy.

“Understanding the potential value of spaces within the British Library to ultra high net worth individuals and corporates seeking philanthropic associations with a premium brand was an important exercise in building our knowledge of the international landscape. The research was both comprehensive and enlightening and important.

Patrick Fleming, Former Director of Development