Showing your appreciation loud and clear is an absolute must when it comes to recognizing donors. What some organizations are failing to realize is just how important the way you show your appreciation is perceived these days.
After all, this is the digital age, so why opt for something less eye-catching and dynamic than digital content?
Digital signs have come a long, long way in recent years. With them, you can do just about anything — namely, using them to create a stunning yet easily manageable digital donor recognition wall.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how and why digital donor recognition walls take the cake when it comes to the digital form, and in what ways it differs from a traditional non-digital approach, as well as compared to digital picture plaques & donor recognition board displays.
Digital Donor Recognition Walls vs Digital Picture Plaques
Digital donor recognition video walls are a formidable force - the primary benefit is the size! With great size comes flexibility in content, a long reach to target & engage a wide audience, and the ability to pack more features in without losing impact. Digital picture plaques are intended for close viewing distance interactions, though can and should entice individuals to approach them from a fair distance. Digital picture plaques should have simple content made to get a single clear point across to the viewer for maximum impact.
Imagine a digital donor recognition wall used for fundraising purposes with a campaign story section, QR code & webpage link, and fundraising thermometer. Now imagine that amount of content on a digital picture plaque, like the below image:
The digital donor recognition wall looks well proportioned, easy to read, and eye catching, from top to bottom.
Obviously, this would gain a lot of eyeballs from a long range, and make an impact to your fundraising goals. The digital picture plaque is effective with a few viewers at a time … even when standing inches from it.
When comparing to a donor relations/retention solution, the same holds true - imagine a “Donor Wall of Honor” with a donor stories section, call to action, and a dynamic donor list by donation tier. Compare a full sized digital donor recognition wall to a digital picture plaque with the same content.
Again, the digital picture plaque doesn’t grab your attention as easily, while the digital donor wall screams for attention, and arms your donor relations & retention teams with a powerful tool.
That is not to say that digital picture plaques are bad, far from it. They simply require more targeted content, a closer viewing distance, and content made to work for that size and purpose. This tends to mean more simplified, boiled down images, videos and text with the intent of being viewed up close.
The takeaway - for larger areas with good long range visibility to the area like lobbies or other big, deep areas with a lot of wall space - a digital donor recognition wall is perfect. Smaller or more narrow areas like hallways tend to benefit from digital picture plaque solutions.
Digital Donor Recognition Walls vs Donor Recognition Board Displays
Donor recognition board displays are a nice happy medium between the full-scale digital donor recognition wall and the small format digital picture plaque. Ultimately, you can do the same thing with either, though donor recognition board displays can be more sensitive to a lot of information packed in. The determining factors are a combination of price sensitivity, viewing distance, and level of detail in the content.
As you can see, a closer viewing distance with a lot of details can work just fine for a donor recognition board display, like in a small-medium sized waiting room. On the other hand, further viewing distances with a lot of information on the screen tends to lose detail and attention, like in a large waiting room sitting in the back, or for a lobby. This is where digital donor recognition displays come in handy.
The larger the display equals the further the viewing distance, which equals more audience & ample information. The smaller the display equals the closer the viewing distance, which equals less audience & broader information.
Digital vs Traditional Approaches
What are now considered traditional or conventional methods of displaying appreciation for donors have been around for a very long time. Metal plaques, mosaic tiles featuring donors’ names, engraved wooden structures, and a huge variety of other static forms of donor recognition have served organizations well over the years.
These methods have been tried and true, but they’re quickly becoming obsolete. Why? They simply don’t demand attention the way digital screens do. The traditional approach has been done over and over again, and simply doesn't provide the impact large donors now expect.
Here are some factors to consider in how digital and traditional methods differ, and which one does a better job.
Digital signs allow words and names to pop in a way that plaques or any physical structure can’t match. Especially with a high-contrast color scheme (see digital signage best practices), words on your screens literally glow.
It’s true that gold or silver plaques shine too, but ironically, they’re the hardest to read since they have the least amount of contrast.
There are ways you could reshape an existing traditional donor recognition wall, but not many. Without doing a total overhaul—which would be expensive and time consuming—you’re basically stuck with what you started with, for years on end.
A digital donor recognition wall, on the other hand, allows you to make minor or major changes to the content displayed at will. Plus, it can easily incorporate multimedia and even be interactive.
What’s most important is how donors feel about your creative donor recognition walls. Do they feel appreciated, or compelled to make continued donations? It’s safe to say that both conventional and state of the art methods for displaying your thanks are effective on some level—but that’s not to say they’re equal.
Digital donor recognition walls provide a level of versatility that not only allows you to create unique, attention-grabbing content, but it allows you to switch up the presentation of that content at will.
From holiday themed displays to interchangeable multimedia, the sky's the limit when you opt for digital signs for donor recognition.
Digital donor recognition walls are extremely versatile. In an emergency, for example, screen overrides can transform your screens into instructive signs that highlight an escape route or give instructions on what to do.
Your digital donor recognition walls can show videos, interactive media, and more. You can also provide QR codes and direct links for potential or returning donors to make on-the-spot contributions.
With a digital recognition donor display, you can access it 24 hours a day from almost any kind of device. If you’d like to make a quick adjustment, such as adding or removing a name on the fly, you can do so in a matter of seconds.
Names of donors can also simply be updated automatically. You can even incorporate the use of powerful fundraiser management software like Classy, QGiv, Raiser’s Edge, and more.
Although the initial investment in digital signs for donor recognition can be higher than a traditional setup, the benefits you get more than make up for it—especially the potential increase in donations that can result from the switch to a digital solution.
If you simply need something cost effective, recognition plaques might work for you. But if you want to attract and impress major donors, then a digital donor wall is the way to go.
What else can you do with a digital donor recognition wall?
We’ve already talked about how attention-grabbing digital displays are, how versatile and flexible they are, and how they’re essentially the way of the future. Now let’s take a look at a couple of ways that you can get even more out of digital signage for your donor recognition program.
In addition to using your recognition wall to display names and amounts donated to your cause, you can add personalized donor stories. This multimedia presentation can be fully interactive or consist of videos, pictures, and text about a donor and their journey.
With something as thoughtful as personal donor stories, donors will be touched, and will see how much you really appreciate their donations.
Who says your donor recognition wall has to be strictly for listing names and thanking donors? With the additional space that a video wall would add, for example, you could have a section dedicated to spreading awareness about current or future projects.
Then, you could make an informative and persuasive fundraising presentation that uses videos and interactive digital multimedia to tell potential donors more about your fundraiser. That way, they’ll know how their contributions will benefit your organization and the people it helps.
You could even promote fundraising events through your screens to make sure that those who are interested mark their calendar.
What you need to get started with digital donor recognition walls
There are many things to consider when deciding on a digital donor recognition wall. Some of the first 10 questions we at OmniAlly would ask include:
- Do you care if there are seams in the video wall? (Tiled LCD vs Seamless LED)
- Should the content be touch-interactive?
- What is the ideal size of the display(s)?
- Does it need to be protected from the public damaging it?
- How far away is the closest viewer?
- How far away is the furthest viewer?
- What is the primary purpose of the display(s)?
- What are ancillary or secondary purposes of the display(s)?
- Where will the display(s) be located?
- What is the all-in budget for the project?
Based on the answers to these questions your preferred reseller should be able to specify a solution customized for your needs. If you’re unsure where to start, or want help walking it through, then the team at OmniAlly is always happy to help with a free consultation and/or project estimate.
When it comes to creative digital donor recognition walls, a traditional donor wall design isn’t going to cut it for much longer. The power of an interactive donor wall can’t be ignored. Not only is it the best way to recognize donors in the digital age, but it comes with a slew of other benefits.
It’s flexible, simple to access and manage remotely from virtually any device in real time, easily legible, and adaptable to any setting or circumstances.