10 Tips to NonProfits Planning a Donor Wall
What should a donor relations or advancement professional be considering when selecting a vendor for the design and installation of a donor recognition wall. Planning a donor wall is not simple!
The Donors Wall is becoming an important tool used by non-profit organizations and specifically their foundations, charities and donor relations staff, to thank their donors, tell their stories and inspire visitors. Planning a donor wall is therefore very important.
Following are 10 Tips to Nonprofit Organizations when planning a Donor Wall:
Plan Ahead– Good planning is essential when planning a donor wall. Ensure you have a vision of what you want in your donors wall, you have sufficient budget put aside for this effort and you have the time that’ll take to complete this project. Donor recognition walls cannot be a last-minute decision and they are not simple as they are aimed to recognize your organization’s donors and thank them in a way that will motivate them to continue giving while inspiring others to support your organization.
Coordinate: Ensure that your team is on the same page. Communicate upfront with whomever you think will be involved in the project, your board members, marketing department, support and maintenance people, and keep them involved throughout the entire design and installation process. If a committee is in charge of the project, make sure that the group has a lead contact person, perhaps a paid staff member, who will work with the selected vendor ensuring that the system designed answer to your requirement.
Your Organization is Unique: Avoid ordering a simple, ”cookie cutter” wall design. The donors wall design should fit your organizations culture, mission and vision, and blend well with your site’s architecture and aesthetics.
Engage and Captivate: Make your display attractive and impressive. The more eye-catching it is, the more attention it will receive. Your organization’s story, vision and mission along with your donors and their respective contribution say all about your organization.
Size Counts: If possible, aim for a large and impressive donor wall installed at a high-traffic area in your facility so people cannot miss, and therefore engage the maximum number of visitors.
Allow Updates and Changes: Typically, the content at donor recognition walls needs to be updated regularly. For that reason ensure that the design will permit frequent changes and maintenance at minimal cost.
Digital Option: When planning a donor wall, Consider installing a digital, multimedia donor recognition wall. Remember the say: “One single image worth a thousand words”. Digital donor walls are easy to update and can serve multiple purposes.
Don’t Rush: Do not make the project’s deadline your primary focus. You cannot make good decisions when time is the most critical factor. If the wall will be on display for years to come, do not worry about its being completed in a few weeks. You can always display a mock-up and tell donors and prospects to watch for the real thing. Do not schedule a dedication or special event with an unveiling until the display has actually been installed and tested.
Discovery: Ensure that the design process starts with a consultive discovery by your selected vendor. Designing a donor wall or interactive digital donor display is not simple. Ensure your vendor fully understand your organization’s mission, history and vision and is fully aware of your expectations from their design.
Team-Work: Ensure your involvement throughout the design process. Ask for an initial concept sketch. Review wireframes, top level design. models. Ask for a mockup if possible. Get involved and ensure that your team is OK with the design. When seeing issues, work with your vendor to fine tune the design, always keeping an eye on your goals and objectives.