Fred Wilson wrote recently about his experiences using DocuSign to sign the many different documents that come across his desk. I’ve used DocuSign, and I’m a big fan of it for all the reasons Fred Wilson cites. I thought of this in light of some paperwork I had to sign recently.

I’ve been working with some Penn State alumni on a small five year development campaign, which will establish an annual $7,250 scholarship for undergraduate members of The LION 90.7fm, the campus radio station. We started this five-year period last June, and at that time Penn State Development staff had to physically mail me copies of the agreement for signing, which then had to be sent back to be mailed to three other University officials for their signatures. It took about a month to obtain all of those signatures, which is just tedious.

I recently had to repeat this process, thanks to the fortunate circumstance of a major donor who will be contributing to the scholarship endowment. We’ve chosen to recognize him by naming the fund in honor of him and his wife.

But this means another month of revised paperwork being mailed across the Commonwealth for four signatures, eventually being approved by the Board of Trustees, and eventually (probably in December) being updated with the new name on Penn State’s giving site.

Aside from the hassle of the signatures, this is an example of a case where our entire development process is slowed, because we’d really prefer not to announce the named donor and launch our next phase until donors can see this scholarship fund on Penn State’s site.

A small example of the state of things, with the hope that the process will get speedier through an embrace of technology.