Before choosing a donor wall design, it is critical to understand whether donor names will need to be added or regularly updated. Most donor recognition requires at least some updating, even a specific campaign donor wall. This blog post is intended to identify some of the different ways which updating can be accomplished in both a forward-thinking and aesthetically pleasing manner.
The magnetic donor wall often includes individual nameplates which can be sized according donor level. No mounting devices are visible as the nameplates are magnetically held in place. Security is not a concern as the magnetic system is powerful and requires a special tool to remove the nameplates. Each donor name can be engraved as needed.
The donor names are printed onto a Mylar sheet and held in place between two substrates, most commonly with a clear layer of Lucite on top. In the picture above, the panels are secured with brushed aluminum caps with a matching brushed aluminum accent bar at the top of each panel. When it is time to update the list with new names, the printed Mylar is replaced with an updated sheet. This option is often utilized for annual fund or employee displays. This option is also flexible in regard to name space as the font and size of each name/donor level can be adjusted to accommodate more names.
This display is an example of a channel system donor wall. Each nameplate is held into place by a vertical tracking system where the nameplates slide into place from the top of each row. The donor names are often permanently engraved into individual nameplates. As new names need to be added, the blank nameplates are removed from the display to be engraved.
In a screw mounted donor wall, each nameplate has two screws holding the plate in place. The overall look is similar to the magnetic or channel systems, however the aesthetic difference is the two visible screws on either side of each individual nameplate. When time comes to update the display, this can be the most labor intensive system due to the removal and addition of nameplates – especially if donor names are in alphabetical order. For this reason, a screw mounted donor wall is best suited for those displays that will not require frequent changes. However, the benefits are that blank plates can be engraved as needed and the screw mounted donor wall is often less costly than other systems.
Cable or Rod System
A cable system is a method of mounting display panels to the wall in a way that allows the display to be suspended and proud of the wall itself. Cables are the support system and frame for the display and clips hold the panels or plates into place. Rods are often used in place of cables and can achieve the same effect more cost effectively.
Cable systems have the capability of being used in spaces that do not provide a usable wall for mounting a donor display. Cables can be secured from the ceiling to the floor, wall to wall, ceiling to wall, or wall to floor to create a contemporary and industrial look.
Updating a cable or rod system will depend on the materials selected for the panels or nameplates. The above example contains printed Mylar and is updated by printing new sheets. Other displays can include engraved nameplates that are added as needed.
Interactive Electronic System
Electronic donor recognition provides for quick and easy updating of donor walls and can provide additional storytelling and fundraising opportunities. There are different ways to update electronic donor walls, depending on the management software. Honorcraft offers a standard software package that allows for instant internal updating through Google spreadsheets. Now you can update your donor wall from any computer with internet access!
For nearly 50 years Honorcraft has created and updated many displays and can offer valuable advice to help you weigh your options when establishing a new recognition system. Contact us today for a complimentary needs assessment to learn more. You may also want to consider downloading our “Stress Free Guide to Donor Recognition”to get started.