Wisdom Wednesday: Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Braving the elements with exterior donor recognition

This week has brought snow squalls, high winds, and torrential rain to Honorcraft’s New England home base – following several weeks in which winter has laid brutal claim to communities throughout the United States.

Honorcraft’s recognition experts are often asked about choosing materials for exterior donor recognition displays that will withstand the extremes of regional weather patterns: freezing cold, blistering dry heat and hot humidity, and coastal salt air.

We use a range of materials for exterior displays, including stainless steel, anodized aluminum, satin brass with an outdoor lacquer overlay, Corian, and of course classic cast bronze.

Looking for exterior recognition ideas? To inspire you, here are a few Honorcraft installations that have stood the test of time while honoring philanthropy through aesthetic donor recognition.

   Catholic_Memorial_outdoor_donor_recognition   Catholic_Memorial_exterior_donor_display

The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

This beautiful display started with the original concept of mortaring individual bricks onto concrete as graduating seniors donated to the Alumni display. Honorcraft suggested a Corian magnetic system as a more manageable and aesthetic approach. Nameplates are mounted to the display on a magnetic surface, and can easily be removed to engrave to update the display. A magnetic system allows for ease of updating without compromising the artistic visual component. The participation rate of seniors giving gifts has been so successful that we installed an additional four displays last month to increase capacity! An accompanying outdoor display for the School of Engineering nearby features the Wall of Fame honoring distinguished alumni.

   Widener_Statue_outdoor_plaques-1    Widener_Statue_exterior_donor_recognition-1

Widener University, Chester, PA

Mounted Corian plaques ring the iconic bronze Cadet-Civilian Memorial outside the school’s former library on campus. The statue celebrates the ties between the former military college, Pennsylvania Military College, and the school’s new identity as Widener University. Widener’s president was looking for something more refined and something to instill a sense of permanence to the display. Our recognition experts suggested a small garden around this display to add aesthetic value. The Corian plaques replaced the original freestanding signage which was a printed substrate. Not only was the printed text harder to read, but the exposure to the elements damaged the material over time. The Corian plaques that surround the statue are engraved and color-filled to last the rough Pennsylvania winters.


Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie, IL

The Museum’s Fountain of the Righteous must stand the test of time, with each strong, simple element whispering never again. Stainless steel plaques, mounted on exterior stone, reflect the aesthetic of the Museum – while offering ease of cleaning and maintenance and providing sturdy surfaces for engraving text so deeply that harsh weather does not wear it away.

WPI_Outdoor_donor_recognitionWorcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

WPI celebrated the contributions of its most generous donors with the launch of the 1865 Society, a new donor society recognizing those who have given $1 million or more to the university. This durable, modern outdoor recognition piece, constructed from stainless steel and Corian, features donor names engraved on screw-mounted, stainless steel plates.

Want to talk about it? We’ll be delighted to provide a free phone consultation to talk through your donor recognition challenge with you personally- or even feature your question in a future Wisdom Wednesday post. Please contact Karen McNulty at kmcnulty@honorcraft.com or (781)-341-0410.
Honorcraft, a leading full-service donor recognition company serving clients across North America, has been practicing the fine art of recognition for more than 50 years. We create everything from Lucite awards to custom bronze plaques to interactive donor walls, and everything in between. OurLegacyCurator consultancy – incorporating on-site recognition review and our exclusive PlaquePlanner and PlaqueTraquer software – advances stewardship and long-term planning through comprehensive recognition inventory and archiving and naming opportunities mapping services.

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