For nonprofits, publicly showing appreciation for their donors is absolutely necessary because doing so helps with donor retention and fundraising. While most nonprofits recognize the importance of acknowledging donors, they often overlook the significance of how an audience perceives donor recognition.
Over the past few years, digital donor recognition walls have gained popularity, mainly because they do so much more than just recognize donors. In this article, we will examine why these eye-catching and dynamic digital walls have the upper hand over the traditional approach to donor recognition and how they can simplify your fundraising efforts.
Digital vs.Traditional Approaches to Donor Recognition
Nonprofits have taken the more traditional donor recognition approach for many years. This includes donor walls with names etched in glass panels or brass plaques, or even something like a donor tree. But these forms of donor recognition are now seen as outdated and are quickly being replaced by contemporary digital donor walls.
Simply put, with their vivid imagery and interactive media, digital walls capture an audience’s attention in ways that traditional walls cannot. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the advantages of choosing a digital donor recognition wall.
Have you ever found yourself staring at a traditional donor wall struggling to make out the names on it? Even with something like a beautiful, shiny gold or silver plaque, the text can be difficult for an audience to read, especially from a distance.
Digital donor walls don’t have this problem. You can select the size and style of your font, and when a high-contrast color scheme is applied, your donors’ names will be boldly displayed for everyone to see.
If you need to make a quick change to your donor wall, say add a new name or correct a spelling, digital donor walls are adaptable and can be changed instantly. On the other hand, if you needed to make the same alteration to a traditional wall, this requires a significant edification that could be expensive and time-consuming.
You want your donors to feel celebrated, so having an effective donor recognition wall is essential. When donors see the bold public recognition digital donor walls offer, they are inspired to continue to give to your cause, leading to an increase in donor retention and even an increase of their gift size.
Versatile digital donor walls give you the ability to create content that is unique and attention-grabbing. For example, if you are hosting a 1920s-style fundraiser, add a classic theme to your wall to get everyone in the spirit. Stagnant traditional walls lack the same kind of effectiveness when it comes to wowing an audience.
Since digital donor walls are so multifaceted, they can even be used for any number of events, including in case of emergency. Program your wall to highlight an escape route or instruct people on how to reach safety if an emergency arises.
In addition, digital walls can show videos such as impact stories or other interactive digital media, a fantastic tool to grab attention. Create a QR code that leads directly to a donation page if you want to give your donors the option to provide right on the spot.
Does your nonprofit sell goods or services? Again, use a QR code that leads the consumer directly to what you have to offer. Traditional donor walls don’t provide this sense of usefulness because they only serve one purpose: to display donors’ names.
If you are looking for a donor wall that can be accessed 24 hours a day from any location using different devices, once again, a digital donor wall is the option for you. With just one click on your computer, phone, or tablet, you can add or remove a donor name, correct a typo, upload a fundraising campaign update, and more.
And with a digital donor wall, software such as DonorPerfect and Raiser’s Edge NXT may be incorporated into your donor wall system, synchronizing your DMS and digital wall. Again, traditional donor walls offer you no such freedom, and these simple alterations can be expensive.
Traditional donor walls may, at first glance, appear to be a more cost-effective donor recognition expense. However, digital donor recognition walls help with what matter - donor retention, average gift sizes, gaining new donors. This can be done by using your digital donor wall to truly, authentically engage with donors publicly using Why I Give stories, Donor Highlights, Impact Stories, How to Give information, and Campaign Updates. When has a traditional donor wall ever paid for itself? Digital donor walls can.
Understanding Digital Donor Recognition Plaques
Digital donor recognition walls are a formidable tool due to their size. With their size comes flexibility in the amount of content displayed, giving you the option of targeting and engaging with a broad audience. However, digital plaques are the perfect add-on if you want an extra digital solution.
A digital donor recognition plaque can highlight various things, such as major donors, board members, or even valued volunteers. Because they hold less dense content, plaques present their message in a clear way that maximizes impact. Digital walls can easily show your donors’ names and highlight stories, but if you want to go the extra mile to tell a story, digital plaques can help you do just that.
Ways That Digital Walls Can Enhance Fundraising Efforts
Now that we understand why digital displays are the donor recognition tools of the future, let’s explore a few of the critical ways digital walls can help your nonprofit increase donor retention and generate more revenue.
Donor Highlights / Why I Give Stories
Storytelling is a powerful tool to utilize in fundraising, which is one reason why including personal stories on your donor recognition display can significantly impact your nonprofit’s success. Since digital walls also act as video walls, featuring a short video of a donor explaining why they choose to give to your organization is easy to do.
Not only will donors appreciate seeing your recognition of them, but potential donors will also be impressed by the pride your donors have in you, encouraging them to give to your organization.
Since digital donor walls do so much more than recognize donors, you can also think of them as a vital tool to use for fundraising. Like you can display videos featuring specific donors, you could also add impact stories, allowing individuals directly impacted by your work to share how your nonprofit changed their life.
We’ve already touched upon how QR codes can be embedded in a digital wall, but think about how easy this makes your fundraising process. For example, say you are in the midst of a fundraising campaign aimed to help homeless children in your community, and add a special panel on your wall explaining the meaning of this campaign. Then, include a QR code that leads campaign donors to the giving page.
Including a digital solution in your planning process will make fundraising straightforward and less stressful for your donor relations team.
Digital donor recognition walls are rapidly replacing traditional walls as the ideal donor recognition tool. This is not just because of the vivid graphic designs they can display, which strongly impact viewers, but also because of the numerous features they come with.
Your interactive donor wall will not only change how you recognize your donors but also how you interact with your audience, fundraise, and share the impact of your work.
Upgrade your donor experience today by reaching out to OmniAlly and booking a demo!
Design Catalog for Digital Donor Walls
Get inspiration from our digital donor wall designs.
About the author: Holley Snaith
Holley Snaith is a writer with 5+ years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. She began her career in the industry at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center in Hyde Park, managing the annual Girls’ Leadership Worldwide program. At the Richard Nixon Foundation, Holley served as a Development Associate, overseeing donor relations and working with the team to close major capital campaigns. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Leadership in Public Service and Nonprofit Administration.