Building your donor wall … and the bridge to your next campaign

Congratulations! You’ve completed a successful campaign. You’re now immersed in the vitally important recognition and stewardship activities that will help sustain your organization’s philanthropic momentum and build the foundation for future fundraising.

Time to create an inspirational donor wall!

Time? you may be thinking. Not nearly enough. You’re probably wondering when you’ll find sufficient hours in the day to tackle your donor wall project. Don’t be daunted. With a creative, experienced recognition partner and some advance planning, you can create a donor wall that gives your benefactors the recognition they deserve – without giving yourself a headache!


 

As you envision the conclusion of your campaign and the design of your donor wall, you may be able to simplify the process by considering the following very common scenarios and taking steps to head them off:

Space. The finite frontier.

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Integrated interactive display with wood, aluminum and Lucite materials.

Wall space is at a premium these days. Heritage plaques and other recognition pieces vie for space with new installations. Contemporary facility design trends toward more window and less wall. And lobbies are not as expansive as they used to be. Where does your donor wall fit?

Our best advice is to join the conversation early – collaborating with architects, physical plant staff, and other key team members to develop a plan for integrating donor recognition into your capital plan. However, all is not lost if that doesn’t happen.

Honorcraft can develop creative options for tailoring your donor wall to whatever space you have available – from blending recognition into existing architectural elements to nesting an interactive donor wall within traditional donor recognition panels for a cost-effective, space-saving option. Contact us for a free site visit and brainstorming session!

One kitchen. Many cooks.

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Brushed aluminum and Lucite donor display with panels.

When it comes to public art – and that’s what your donor wall will be! – everyone has an opinion. In addition to sparking interest from your entire organizational community, all of whom likely consider themselves stewards of your common spaces, your donor wall may touch a wide range of disciplines – from administrative, development, and physical plant personnel to clinical staff who will work in the area where the piece will be placed.

Because donor recognition is about engagement, and about enriching your organization’s culture of philanthropy, you don’t want to crush the collective input of any of your constituencies. On the other hand, you are responsible for creating an inspirational, timely, budget-conscious donor wall. What to do?

We recommend treating your donor wall like any other complex project – with a clear decision tree and sufficient time for review loops and feedback-gathering. Start with a proposed design and tweak to reflect input from your constituencies – working toward your ultimate deadline. Honorcraft can provide you with renderings, as well as consultation, throughout the process. Contact us for a complementary design consultation!

The no-budget blues

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Lucite panel with printed names, accented with brushed aluminum details.

Across the nonprofit sector, the industry standard is to budget 1% of campaign goal for post-campaign donor recognition. Your organization may budget more or less than that – or perhaps, you may find, nothing at all! It’s surprisingly common to find that a donor wall wasn’t included in the original campaign budget, or that cost variance in other areas, changes in campaign leadership, and other factors have rendered it an afterthought.

The ideal approach is to consider donor recognition an intrinsic element of your campaign, and to take time at the outset – or certainly as the campaign progresses and capital decisions crystallize – to envision your donor wall and secure the resources to create it. Whether your organization has followed that process, or whether you’re dealing with a budget challenge, Honorcraft can help.

We can design and build a donor wall that fits your culture, budget, and available space. From an unprecedented selection of budget-friendly materials, to innovative design approaches, to the long-term savings offered by interactive donor walls, an array of options await you. View our donor wall gallery for ideas!