Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Donor Wall Ideas and the Difference Between Static and Dynamic Recognition


Too often organizations find themselves in the dilemma between static (never changing) and dynamic (ongoing) recognition. Here are some thoughts about static (one-time) recognition verses dynamic (cumulative) recognition.

A dynamic recognition display allows everyone to participate. It not only recognizes those large single gifts that are received from time to time (especially in a specific campaign) but also those smaller gifts given with consistent caring over a longer duration. Each is important to the organization's success and growth and both deserve recognition to show appreciation. Additionally, cumulative recognition allows the donor to see and be thanked for his/her entire history of giving and not simply for a brief "snapshot" of the donor's generosity.

Not-for-profits spend significant amounts of money to recognize donors who give during annual appeals or capital drives. With static recognition, those donors will feel appropriately thanked at the time of dedication; however, the recognition vehicle soon begins to fade into the surrounding d├ęcor after the end of the event. As a plaque on the wall, it soon loses its appeal and disappears-if not from view, then certainly from our consciousness.

If, however, organizations would invest a little more into the display, a flexible, expandable, non-defined perimeter piece can be created that will become a dynamic part of their ongoing fundraising efforts. For example, it could include a rotating art exhibit of historic and/or current events that tell a story; this will keep it a consistent area of interest. It will allow organizations to recognize into the future for all donations: large and small, planned gifts and legacies, life insurance proceeds and wills.

Not-for-profits can create giving levels and giving clubs, which allow donors to be continually recognized as their gifts grow through the years. Additionally, they can identify capital campaign donors as the "founders" for a cumulative approach and use their gifts to help generate dollars forever. This method will multiply the effects of donor generosity for years to come.

As you can see, cumulative recognition, or a dynamic display, works for organizations dependent on their donors both large and small; after all, both should have the opportunity to be recognized for their total effort on behalf of the not-for-profit.

Whichever direction you ultimately decide to take (static or cumulative); we hope you allow Design for Recognition to prepare a design to meet your goals and objectives. At that time, we will review the Information Worksheet in detail, and then proceed with a design which will fulfill all your needs and expectations. The result will be a plan that will lead to consistent recognition for a deserving, ever-expanding donor base.