Honorcraft’s LegacyCuratorTM team is often on the road, developing comprehensive donor recognition archives for hospitals, universities, and other leading nonprofit organizations nationwide. We’re also happy to offer complementary consultation for organizations that prefer to keep their inventory in-house. Here are some tips!
Remember the 5 Ps: proper preparation prevents poor performance! Preparing for your donor recognition inventory is the first step toward success. There are quite a few moving parts to take into account, but never fear! We’ve got your back. Download Honorcraft’s free preparation guide. Deciding whether it’s worth the effort? Check out our blog on the benefits of doing an inventory.
Also remember: garbage in, garbage out! Your donor recognition inventory will only be as good as the information you collect. The Discovery phase of your inventory, encompassing collection of all donor recognition in your facility or on your campus – ideally capturing the information both verbally and visually – ensures that you will have accurate, complete information today, as well as a solid foundation on which to build your recognition archive tomorrow. Arm yourself with a good camera, comfortable shoes, and plenty of time – as well as our discovery checklist, which we invite you to download!
Halfway there! Time to craft your recognition archive. Bravo! You have a wealth of donor recognition information. Now … what to do with it? If you’re not using Honorcraft’s LCTracker software, decide what database vehicle best meets your needs. Create the type and number of fields you require to archive your information comprehensively, accurately, and in a way that is easily and intuitively accessed. Then allocate staff time for entering data as well as double-checking for accuracy. (It’s best to assign two staff members to this process, with one focusing on data entry and one checking the entries against raw information collected in the Discovery phase.)
Here’s the first of many payoffs for all your hard work! Use your new donor recognition database to assess and plan. Did you discover anything new about your donors? Did anything about your recognition archive surprise you? Is any action needed now to consolidate or update your current recognition or plan for the future? You can use your database to move, remove, or replace recognition pieces; consolidate disparate pieces into a new display or installation; identify naming opportunities; and more. In the future, your archive will give you the ability to respond to inquiries from donors, board members, and others; assist you in planning future recognition; and support creative, meaningful stewardship initiatives.