3 Creative Tips for Organizations Using Donor Walls

Donor walls are a must-have for any organization that wants to recognize and acknowledge the generous donations of their contributors. Most big organizations that solicit donations already have some type of donor wall set up, but in most cases, these are old-fashioned plaques and displays that are hard to install and update.

These days, companies that have invested in digital signage are finding that digital donor walls are solving these issues and act as the perfect medium for donor recognition. Let’s discuss a few ways organizations can make the best of their donor walls:

1. List Donor Names

The best-known use of donor walls is to recognize an organization’s key contributors.

We’ve all seen these types of walls before, but most organizations that have set up donor walls in the past have displayed them via static signage. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Donor walls built with high-quality materials undeniably look great, but what they gain in visual appeal they lose in flexibility.

Adding names to an engraved donor wall is time-consuming and expensive. And forget reorganization—once the donor wall layout is determined, it can’t be changed without completely redoing the sign.

Compare this to a digital signage-based donor wall. With digital signage, organizations can set up, adjust, and coordinate any type of recognition layout.

If they want to stick to the traditional tiered system of recognition (Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc.), it’s easy to set up a digital signage content template with these segments. If  wealthy new donors come into the picture and offer huge cash donations, it’s easy to go into the template and create a new, “Platinum” level specifically for them. All it takes is a few minutes of adjustment to keep the donor wall updated in real-time.

But organizations shouldn’t limit themselves to these basic layouts! The Gold/Silver/Bronze style of recognition worked great in the pre-digital signage era where donor signs were hard to produce, but now, signage operators can get a bit more creative.

Look for different ways to highlight donors. For example, creating a rotating content display that alternates between the full list of donors and specific “spotlights” on each donor in turn.

Just think about how much better this system is for acknowledging patrons. Platinum/Gold level donors certainly deserve recognition, but so do the lower-level donors! Creating a rotating spotlight lets all donors receive the attention they deserve, regardless of how much they contributed.

(This can be a great advertising point when soliciting donations from businesses. Let them know that any donation, no matter how small, will earn them a place in your donor wall rotation. This will give them the brand visibility they crave while earning you more donors, more attention, and more contributions overall.)


2. Display Fundraising Milestones

Displaying donor names is only the beginning. Think about other ways you can utilize donor walls. For example, building templates that display fundraising milestones.

For most of us, “out of sight, out of mind” is how we operate. It’s easy to forget about a campaign or fundraising event when we have so many other distractions swirling around us.

This is the advantage of flexible digital signage. With a digital donor wall, organizations have the option to creative eye-catching visual displays that can show off any goal, campaign, or initiative the organization wants to push, and keep those goals front-and-center in viewers’ minds. The most obvious example here is the “thermometer” style of tracking that shows how close donators are to a goal, but any type of tracking system will do.

Organizations should use the flexibility of digital displays to their advantage. Include regular updates about the donation progress, but use the opportunity to describe the benefits of donating in a separate window. For example, listing the perks, benefits, or special privileges given to contributors at each donation level.

This serves two purposes: raising awareness of donation progress, and advertising the benefits of donation. These two goals are crucial to donation campaign success, but they’re not easily found through static signage. It’s only through flexible digital solutions that companies can take a proactive approach to their fundraising displays.


3. Creative Storytelling

One of the lesser-known uses of donor walls is storytelling. Digital signage excels at information delivery, and with the right content layouts, companies can share details about their origins, goals, organizational milestones, and even the stories of their donors.

Don’t underestimate the power of the storytelling approach! Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication, and our brains are attuned to taking in information that is presented in a narrative. This strategy helps viewers connect with the digital signage messaging on a deeper level, and makes it more likely that they’ll stop, view, and engage with the signage.

Organizations can describe their origins to give viewers a better idea of what they do, including details about the founders, the struggles they went through, and what motivated them to move forward. This is a great strategy for any type of organizational campaign, and it’s super easy to set up in a digital signage content template.

But don’t just talk about the organization—talk about the donators and the impact they’re making.

For example, if a percentage of all donations go to Doctors Without Borders, the company can research a few specific initiatives being undertaken by the charity, and explain to viewers how their donations help support the cause. (E.g., 10% of every dollar goes to setting up free health clinics in war-torn countries.)

The Power of Digital Donor Walls

The above examples are just a few ways that organizations can get mileage out of their digital donor walls, but they’re by no means the only options. Every organization can customize its digital signage solution to its own needs and push the initiatives best suited to its goals. This applies to every digital signage content strategy, but it’s particularly valuable for donor recognition. Consider how digital signage can help you redefine your relationship with your contributors, and how the right strategy can drive more donations for your business.

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