8 Benefits of a Digital Donor Recognition Wall

Nonprofits rely on donations now more than ever, as do higher education and healthcare organizations, NGOs and public-private entities.

  • Donations in the US grew 9% in a single year to over $46 billion.
  • Nearly 80% of patrons donate to multiple organizations per year.
  • Over 60% of high-wealth donors support at least four organizations.

So how can you attract philanthropists to choose your cause over another?

A donor recognition wall in your facility can thank the patrons you already have, encourage further giving by both them and new donors, and communicate your mission and goals. Although lots of organizations already use donor recognition plaques, moving to a digital donor wall will help make your recognition efforts more modern, engaging and easier to manage.

1. Attractive and engaging

Using bright screens to attract attention is much more effective than static plaques. People are drawn to motion and visuals, so using digital signs or a video wall draws more interest.

Your digital donor recognition wall can use photos, videos and animation to prompt viewers to want to come closer and learn more. Because screens are HD, text is more legible than on a bronze plaque, and you can show more content using the same real estate.

2. Cheaper than plaques

There are some beautiful donor recognition plaques in buildings, but when you gain or lose donors, that plaque has to be updated. That can be expensive over time.

Digital donor recognition walls require the initial investment (just like the plaque), but then you can update them over time using digital signage software to manage your content, instead of having to start from scratch. And those updates are nearly instantaneous, so you’re saving time as well as money.

3. Group donors as an incentive

Revealing your donors and the amounts they’ve given can be a huge motivator for them and new recruits. Group them into levels and make those level names rewarding. Instead of just saying $5,000-$10,000 and $10,000-$20,000, say Silver Donors and Gold Donors (for example).

One study found that “selective recognition creates tournament-like incentives. Recognizing the highest donors activates the desire to seek a positive prize of prestige, thus increasing the proportion of donors who contribute large amounts. Recognizing the lowest donors activates the desire to avoid a negative prize of shame, thus decreasing the proportion of donors who do not contribute or contribute very little.

4. Tell stories

The three main reasons people say they donate to nonprofit organizations are:

  • They have a deep passion for the cause.
  • They believe the organization depends on their donation.
  • They know someone affected by the nonprofit’s mission.

Donors want stories. 42% of donors say personal stories from a nonprofit’s recipients influence their decision to give. 

Use your digital donor recognition wall to share written or filmed testimonials from both beneficiaries and donors. When people can see the effects of giving to a cause, they’re more likely to make a personal connection.

5. Share your mission

Digital signage software lets you rotate through different content on screens, so you aren’t limited to just lists of donors and amounts. Share you mission and goals, so people know exactly what you represent and how their donation will be used.

You can also advertise fundraising events and use data visualizations to show progress to goals. Seeing a visual of a thermometer filling up is more compelling than text, and motivates people to pitch in.

6. Offer interactivity

If you use touchscreens or a voice user interface for your donor recognition wall, people can search through lots of information in their own time (this can be especially useful for older patrons.) That way, you can sort donor information into more categories, share longer videos and include detailed information about your mission. You can also use a touchscreen kiosk to let people join or sign up for newsletters right at the screen.

Even if you aren’t using touchscreens, you can still make the experience interactive by including QR codes that let people get more information or donate instantly on the spot (28% of online contributions are made from a mobile device.)

7. Easy to update

Using a single content management app for your donor recognition wall, you can update listings quickly and publish them out to as many screens as you need. Pull in data from XML, JSON or even Microsoft Excel. When someone updates the database or spreadsheet, it automatically updates on your donor wall.

If you have multiple locations or campuses, a central digital signage system also lets you control branding and messaging while still giving local users access to contribute their own content.

8. Omni-channel communications

A digital donor recognition wall won’t likely be your only path to philanthropists. This is an onsite solution to appeal to people at the source. You’ll want to combine it with your other campaigns to continue engagement with donors and potential patrons. But be sure to keep all of your branding and design consistent across your campaigns for better recognition and engagement.

Important! Respect donor privacy.

Never post donor information without permission. Some people prefer a personalized thank you, like a handwritten note, instead of public recognition. However, if you can appeal to them to share their story to inspire others to give, the idea might be more palatable.

If you’re interested in a donor recognition board, our award-winning creative team can design whatever you need. Contact us to get started.

Download our free infographic for stats that show the benefits of a donor recognition wall for your patrons and your organization.

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