Donor Walls: 5 Advantages to Choosing a Digital Donor Wall
Selecting the right donor wall to give your donors the public recognition they deserve is crucial to your nonprofit’s donor relations. After all, it is your donors who make it possible for you to carry out your mission and make an impact.
At the same time, donor walls are a major, long-term investment for your organization to make. For years, nonprofits have been investing in more traditional donor walls, but with the advent of digital donor walls, traditional walls are quickly becoming relics. Let’s look at 5 key advantages to choosing a digital donor wall.
Less Wall Space
When deciding on the type of donor wall that is best for your nonprofit, one factor to consider is the amount of wall space you have available. There are many ways to recognize your donors using traditional walls, such as having customized plaques made or even a personalized donor tree. While these donor walls may look elegant and professional, you have to meticulously plan for the wall space needed for the display as your nonprofit and your number of donors grow.
With a digital donor wall, planning for the near or distant future is not something to focus on. There is no need to worry about how much wall space you may need to feature new donors' names because, with a digital wall, you have unlimited space to feature donor names, donor profiles, impact stories, and more. And, your wall design will possess a contemporary look that can be updated to reflect your brand and grab the attention of everyone who walks through your door.
Easy to Update
With traditional donor walls, you need ample time to plan and curate the design because it needs to reflect your brand and mission. But when it comes time to update a capital campaign or even donors’ names, this is not an easy edit. It can take weeks, or even months, to have just a few names etched onto a plaque. And if the plaque comes back with a misspelled name, you have to start the process all over again.
Digital donor walls feature a graphic design that is carefully created at the start, yet when it is time to make additions or changes, this can be done instantly and without the additional cost. Since a digital donor wall can be synchronized with your DMS, once that change is made in your software, it’s also reflected on your wall. Digital walls offer you plenty of options in how to recognize your donors, giving you the freedom to change your approach at any time.
Traditional donor walls are specially made to reflect your brand and meet all your needs, but there is also a wild range in the cost of these custom-designed walls. After only a few years, your traditional donor wall may be out of style, which means you will again have to invest in either a new wall or a modernization, which is a costly undertaking.
Digital donor walls, however, consist of many of the same components that traditional walls do, yet with an added traditional enclosure. To save your nonprofit more money, this enclosure can be removed and an LCD may be used on the wall for donor recognition instead. There are countless ways to utilize digital donor walls, allowing your nonprofit to focus on raising money instead of spending it.
Clear & Concise Text
Those silver or gold donor plaques do have a glossy look, but it is often a struggle to read the names engraved on the plaques. Traditional donor walls possess a professional, classy appearance, yet the contrast can make the text appear unclear.
On the flip side, digital donor walls have a modern appearance that allows donor names to pop. Deciding to use a high-contrast color scheme in your graphic design adds a rich and robust appearance to the text. Check out the digital donor wall checklist to learn more about strong content and color schemes.
Let’s face it, while traditional donor walls are nice to look at, they offer no interactive features. This type of donor wall requires that your nonprofit invest in an experiential design to give a stagnant wall a sense of intrigue that will pique a viewer’s interest.
With their contemporary and edgy look, digital donor walls offer interactive features, such as a touch screen, that allows the audience to engage with you. The interactivity of a digital donor wall makes it more than a donor recognition wall; it also allows you to share impact stories with images and video, raises campaign awareness, display campaign highlights, and even present donors with the opportunity to donate right on the spot. This interactive interface offers your nonprofit a prime opportunity to cultivate new donors.
Digital donor walls are quickly phasing out the more traditional approach to donor recognition. With a digital donor wall, you can display beautiful, dynamic designs that take up less space and are simple to update at any time. And the interactive features that come built-in with a digital donor wall make it easy for you to engage with current donors and cultivate new donors.
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.