Interactive digital donor recognition is a terrific way to manage your extensive lists of donor names. Using Arreya Digital Signage Suite you can easily update digital donor lists with the Arreya widget called List-eez. The Arreya widget, List-eez, automatically formats any data list and converts it to columns and pages with a few clicks. When you are ready to replace your donor list, just replace the list within your Arreya media library. No need to reformat, it automatically replaces your digital list to all your devices.
Have different donor campaigns? Interactive digital donor recognition with Arreya digital signage allows for multiple campaigns within the same content. Arreya allows you to share the same content on unlimited devices without adding any costs.
Want to spotlight on specific donors with donor stories? Digital donor recognition with Arreya digital signage allows you to add and change donor stories instantly and remotely with the easy built-in editor and manager.
Digital donor recognition is the perfect addition to any donor recognition project. It combines so many of the needs of donor recognition while reducing the ongoing maintenance costs and engaging your audience and future donors.
The ongoing battle with donor walls is designing something that brings in more donations. Donor walls can always be beautiful, but do they do more than recognize previous donors, do they inspire. Recently we were asked to update a donor wall for a hospital birthing center that over 10 years had not received more than 20 donations. The original donor wall consisted of engraved Corian tiles and a small panel with a poem about a baby. It was not clear that this was a donor wall. The donor wall blended into the wallpaper and the poem was confusing. Most guests thought it was a list of babies that died.
The hospital wanted to use the existing structure and wanted something people would notice and give a clear message. We began by replacing the Corian tiles with panels that were easily updated, added a new message to the poem panel and a three dimensional title. Simple changes that didn’t cost much, but made the donor wall stand out and give a clear message as to the reason for the donor wall.
Within two days, they had gained donors. Something the wall hadn’t done in years.
The simple answer to the question “Can anyone design donor walls?” is No, but you are probably wondering why you can’t have your best friends daughter, who is a graphic design major, design your donor wall. It’s free, right! What could be better. You need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your donors important?
- Is your project important?
- Is your organization important?
If you answer yes to these questions, than you need to hire a design firm that has experience in donor wall design. Experienced donor wall designers have knowledge of ADA requirements, engineering, and large format dimensional design. Most have a degree in graphic design, interior design or architecture, but the industry is finally beginning to embrace the true field of donor wall design – environmental design or experiential design. Many design firms are advertising jobs as environmental design or experiential design for this reason. Still confused? Recently, we were contacted by a design firm that wants us to build a donor wall they designed, which we are happy to do. The design has donor name plates less than 10″ from the floor, think about that for a moment; would you put your donor names that low on a wall, or better yet, if your a donor, would you want your name that close to the floor. Experienced donor wall designers always consider readability height, size of copy and how far the display will project into the space. If you hire an experienced donor wall design firm, you eliminate the need to consider all the variables that come with a large display. No concerns for stability, readability or longevity. You only have to focus on your donors.
Ten Donor Wall Planning Tips
The time to think about donor recognition isn’t when you’re planning the celebration party. Include a recognition wall display cost in your total fundraising effort and be sure to integrate the design into your architectural and signage program.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
In the throes of raising funds, different promises are often made to different people – some impossible to keep. Begin by setting guidelines on how gifts will be recognized on the donor wall.
Head off anomalies, but design for variables
Hospitals, churches and care facilities often receive “in loving memory of” gifts. To control the variability of these listings, provide criteria for how such gifts can be stated on the recognition display. At the same time, plan typography for the longest and shortest naming scenarios.
Decide between a finite campaign or living donor wall
Designers need to know the maximum number of donor names that will likely appear before beginning concept development. If the wall is for a single capital campaign, set a ﬁrm deadline for inclusion, so names can be alphabetized and placed into donation categories. Design living walls to remain aesthetically pleasing at any stage and be sure to place them in locations that will allow for growth.
Allocate a percentage of the budget
Set aside a percentage of the total building budget for the donor wall construction. Avoid the appearance of overspending, but keep in mind that attractive walls make donors feel appreciated and encourage others to give in the future.
Complement the architecture
Even when a donor wall is treated as stand-alone art, designers need to work closely with the architect, lighting engineer and signage designers. The ﬁnished piece should feel integral to the environment and complement the proportions, materials, ﬁnishes and colors of the space.
Maintain type consistency
Don’t try to list names in type sizes equivalent to the size of the donations. Color-coding is a common way of protecting typographic consistency.
Consider future fabrication
Make sure that materials and craftsmanship are available and can be matched ﬁve, 10, 15 years hence.
Consider daily upkeep of the donor wall
Take weather resistance, vandalism and maintenance into account before approving the design and location.
Proofread, then proofread again.
Imagine etching 1000 names on a single sheet of glass and ﬁnding a typo that will remain into perpetuity. Check with donors about unusual name spellings, then assign several people to proofread at every stage of the process.
Congratulations! You made the decision to enter the world of digital signage. You purchased the necessary hardware and got it installed. You plug it in, turn it on and nothing…where is the content? Unlike television, digital signage doesn’t come with preprogrammed channels full of content, this needs to be designed and then formatted to work with your hardware and updated frequently.
The first step to creating engaging content is to focus on two questions:
What do you want it to do?
Who is your audience?
The second step is to hire a graphic designer that has experience creating digital content templates in the correct formats. The templates will give you the layout of your pages and the flow of your information, including the correct placement of interactive buttons and widgets to meet ADA requirements all with branding that identifies with your organization and your audience. Once you have these original templates you can make changes to different areas of the templates.
Some of the digital signage media players come with editors, ready to create your own content, and are based on their own proprietary software. The editors are varied and the learning curve can be more than you are willing to tackle. Because of our own experience with third party players, we have created ARREYA, a digital signage software complete with user-friendly editor that doesn’t rely on hardware and is completely cloud-based. Whatever you decide, do your research and pick one that allows you to create the content you want and is easy for the people that will be doing the updates.
You can buy the most expensive hardware, but without engaging and well-designed content, you just wasted your money.
For more information about ARREYA Digital Signage Suite or to try the FREE trial, go to www.ARREYA.com or call 319-294-6671
Digital Donor Walls is the fastest growing segment of the donor wall market. If you are looking at a new donor wall, you are probably looking at digital along with static donor walls. Keep in mind that static is 1/3 the cost of the digital donor wall and once you install the static wall, other than maybe some name updates, it is complete and you don’t have to think about it for a while. Digital donor walls are a great addition and really engage donors to give, but they need to be updated on a regular schedule showcasing new donors, new events, awards, video and anything else you can think of to engage visitors and perspective donors. It is not worth the money if you are not planning on any updates. The remote updates is what makes digital donor walls worth the money. Just like a website you can make it anything you want, add anything you want and combine it with marketing or informational kiosks that everyone will want to see.
What I’m saying is don’t go into digital thinking it is just like static walls or just because it is the latest thing. Be prepared to embrace it for the long term, it will be worth the money if done correctly and with a reliable company who does it all in-house. If you contract with a vendor who subcontracts the digital, you will not be able to find the subcontractor when something goes wrong. Do your research, ask for references and check them. There are a lot of companies claiming to do digital, but just like shopping for a tablet or phone, pick what works for you and a reliable company that will be there for the future.
In the case of gasoline prices the answer is yes, but when designing a display that honors your organization or donors do you want to go cheap? A cheap display with no visual indication of your story or corporate brand will deter donors from giving and project an unsure atmosphere within your organization.
Let’s say you are planning on spending $8000 on your donor recognition, but you find a company that will give you the design, and build it for $4000. Wow! What savings, but the design is a tile wall you have seen in 100 other organizations, is too big for the space you had planned and six months later someone destroys one of the naming tiles and you can’t get a hold of the company to replace it. You have just wasted $4000 and need to start over.
Shop for the four things that mean more than price, and in the end make you money:
- Customer service
- Quality design that speaks of your organization
- Quality, durable construction
- Credible company
Our hospital has undergone major renovations, resulting in re-location of a number of services. In some areas there are plaques dating back many years, recognizing gifts of donors to a specific service (eg. – pediatrics or endoscopy.) We call these “dedication plaques”. What is a good policy for removing donor plaques.
A Foundation’s foremost concern is the appropriate recognition of our donors’ generosity. From time to time, modifications, renovations, or changes to an area’s use may require adjustments in a naming opportunity.
1. If a space undergoes minor renovations and the purpose of the space remains substantially the same, then any original naming designation will remain in place.
2. When a space undergoes a significant renovation or change in purpose, or the designated program ceases to exist or experiences a dramatic change in its needs, the Foundation will discuss options with the naming and lead donors (or their survivors) to that structure or program. Options for the naming opportunity may include, but are not limited to, continuing the naming opportunity with modification, moving the naming opportunity to a new or comparable, existing space, or altering the size of the space assigned to the naming opportunity.
3. When the useful life of a facility ends or the function supported by a gift ends or moves out, the Foundation will discuss options with the naming and lead donors involved or their survivors. Among the options will be those outlined above and the opportunity for donors to fund new construction of a new area or major renovation to a fully reconfigured area in order to sustain the original naming opportunity. Whatever the donors’ decision, the Foundation may move recognition of original gifts to a permanent plaque or similar structure elsewhere in the hospital to continue honoring past gifts. A Living History wall or Legacy Display in the Hospital is currently under consideration as a way to perpetuate the recognition of donors whose named areas have been removed.
4. The naming of a building by a donor will extend for the life of the building. In the event the named building is demolished, the donor is entitled to recognition for a minimum of thirty (30) years. If the named building is razed in fewer than 30 years, the Foundation will arrange with the donor and/or the donor’s family to select a comparable area. If the named building is demolished after a period of 30 or more years, the Foundation will not be obligated to continue the naming recognition.
Okay, you raised the money, the hard work is done, now put the names on a plaque and move on to the next fund raiser. Is this how you view donor recognition? If it is, your missing a great opportunity to make your job easier and to gain more donors without solicitation. Deep down everyone wants to see their name in lights and a thoughtfully designed donor recognition display will entice people to give, just to see their name on the display.
Recently, someone told me a donor wall we created is referred to as the Holy Spirit. It was great to hear that the donor display has taken on a new life and people are impassioned by the design.
If your donor recognition looks like a tombstone, you are probably missing the mark. Give the potential donor something that catches their attention and speaks to your vision and mission. A true extension of your marketing.
Once you ask the question the answer may seem obvious – Of course location matters! Celebrating donors and marketing to future donors is what donor walls are all about. In the past donor walls were looked at as memorials and they were built to look like headstones. It didn’t matter where you placed them, because no one ever looked at them.
Donor recognition walls are now a piece of art and through environmental design, they can add to the space. Just like a well placed painting or sculpture a donor wall invites closer inspection and should inspire people to give.