Beyond the Board

Beyond the Board – A New Direction for Donor Recognition

Donor recognition has come a long way since the days of engraved wooden honour boards.

While traditional honour boards remain popular, we are starting to see more modern and eye-catching interpretations, such as this interactive donor wall at Bemidji State University in the United States.

While traditional honour boards remain popular, we are starting to see more modern and eye-catching interpretations, such as this interactive donor wall at Bemidji State University in the United States.

Donor recognition isn’t just about thanking your donors it is also about making them feel recognised, valued and involved. Public recognition of your donors also creates reciprocity and status, two things that donors will rarely admit to wanting, but have been proven to motivate support.

While modern versions of the donor board do not come cheap, a new donor recognition system is a valuable investment in donor development. However, given the cost, it is important that you take a considered approach to donor recognition. Here we offer some advice to anyone looking to update their donor recognition.

1) Plan it out. It is important that you consider donor recognition when planning a campaign or appeal and make it an integral part of your fundraising strategy. Donors want to know that their donation will be appreciated and establishing a recognition system from the outset may even encourage donors to up their giving.

2) Be innovative. Creating an innovative system of donor recognition can entice donors and make honoring the support easier and more cost effective. Digital installations as a modern interpretation of the typical honour board allow organisations to recognise their supporters in an eye-catching and efficient manner, while avoiding issues associated with the cost and difficulty of updating traditional honour boards.

3) Allow it to grow. We have all seen those honour boards that were installed decades ago that are either out of date or filled up, with no space left for modern donors. I was recently visiting a hospital and had to crane and crick my neck up to the ceiling to see what names were etched way up next to the crown molding. A poorly designed recognition board can lead donors to think that funds are no longer in demand and that the recognition of their gift will be pushed to the edges. Giving Trees as a form of donor recognition allows recognition to grow without feeling over cramped after a few years, or sparse in your early days. I love this Jack and the Beanstalk Donor Tree at Ronald McDonald House in Hong Kong.
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Recognition is imperative to ensure that donors are recognised and to encourage their future engagement. For more advice on how to institute a donor recognition system, contact Julie Johnson on 1300 721 799.

Contact OKP on:       1300 721 199      www.okp.com.au       enquiries@okp.com.au

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