Why Digital Donor Walls Are The Cost Effective Fundraising Tool Under the New Tax Laws

Why Digital Donor Walls Are The Cost Effective Fundraising Tool Under the New Tax Laws

Fundraising is a challenge under the new tax laws, but with the right tools, used to their full capabilities, they can help nurture existing donors and expand the reach of the organization to bring in new donors. Digital donor walls can be the perfect tool in these challenging charitable times.

Building Donor Relations with Digital Donor Walls

hospital touchscreen digital donor walls with cumulative and annual campaign donors

The new tax laws have dramatically changed the charitable giving arena. Charitable giving becomes more about doing something for an organization than about a tax write-off.  Fundraisers and developers must work harder than ever to bring in new donors but also nurture all the previous donors. The most critical challenge is building personal relationships with donors so they feel the connection with the organization and want to give.

Donor recognition in any form, if done well, can be used to build donor relations, but digital donor displays are a more powerful option. They can easily reach more donors, share real-time information and lower the expenses associated with donor wall updates.  The right platform can easily handle donor names, but there are many other options that will speak volumes to your donors and help you build donor relations.. Here are a few:

  1. Donor Stories – spotlight prominent donors, or special individuals with a digital page dedicated to them. Share their giving story with text and photos or personal videos.
  2. On the Spot Giving – Don’t let visitors get away. Give them a QR code or option to donate right at the digital donor wall.
  3. Share Content Beyond the Donor Wall – Keep donors informed with real-time information of upcoming events, donation options and even livestream video for donors who can’t get to events, such as live auctions. Share your digital donor wall with everyone with a shareable URL that is viewable on any device.
  4. Organization History – Establish an honorable giving platform by adding history and timelines to your digital donor wall.  Easier to update than static history walls.
  5. Promote Events – Keep donors engaged with current announcements of events, awards, scholarships and new giving opportunities.

Digital Donor Walls and ROI

With any fundraising organization, every donation needs to be used wisely. Sometimes it is hard to understand the necessity of donor recognition. It can seem like a waste of money and because of this, many donor wall displays develop into cheap afterthoughts that don’t encourage other donations or celebrate the donors. They are looked at as an ending to a campaign, but there is a smarter way to look at donor walls. Donor walls should be looked at as an effective marketing tool.

Great donor walls visually connect visitors with the mission and vision of the organization, the particular campaign or reason for the donations and most importantly nurture the donors by presenting their names in a celebratory way. All donor walls should provoke emotions in the visitors to turn them into donors. The use of digital easily enhances the marketing perspective of donor recognition. It immediately grabs the attention of visitors and readily gives them realtime information not shown on most static donor walls. It keeps information directly in front of potential donors all the time.

fundraising touchscreen digital donor walls kioskDigital donor walls are easy to integrate into different combinations of donor recognition. Many organizations combine static donor walls with digital. Older donor displays can be replaced and combined into one glorious new digital donor wall.  Highlighting the larger donors on the static wall and listing smaller donors on the digital. Digital donor walls can individualize content. Easily adding video, social media links, RSS feeds, donor stories, organization history, calendar of events and board member information that can shared online through a personal URL. Older donors and distant donors are kept up to date with the organizations fundraising efforts and needs without expensive mailers. Realtime and relevant information is continually available to donors.

Digital donor displays and kiosks are the most costly option of donor recognition but when looking at the goals of fundraising, digital donor walls give a better return on investment (ROI) than other donor wall option. Stock donor walls are very costly in the overall cost analysis. They do a poor job of nurturing donors or building donor relations, in fact they probably hurt relationships because they are unimpressive to donors. Stock donor walls have a limited outreach to encourage more donations. Digital donor walls give the tools to reach more donors, more often with more information at  less cost than any other marketing tool. They reduce or eliminate the need for other costly marketing efforts, such as mailers, which take money and time to complete. They reduce the cost of updates and the updates can happen quickly and more timely than static walls.

It is harder than ever to get donors and keep them. Appealing to a donors senses is an easy way to reach out. A donor wall that visually tells the organization’s mission and vision and makes them stand out is more important than ever. Showing how an organization is different and important will give donors a reason to support one organization over another. Fundraisers have to use every tool in the kit to keep money coming in and use the funds wisely. Digital donor walls are a smart use of money over stock donor walls.

The Right Combination for Successful Digital Donor Walls

hospital touchscreen digital donor walls in portrait orientation

The world of digital signage has become difficult to navigate. What is needed to develop and maintain a digital donor wall?

First, What are the need and wants of the digital donor wall?

  1. List of content wishes
  2. Touch or non-touch
  3. Combination of Static and Digital
  4. Combined fundraising programs
  5. Cumulative, Annual, Capital campaign
  6. Approximate number of donor names, lists and giving levels

Second, What are the physical needs?

  1. Physical space options
  2. Kiosk or Wall
  3. Hardware
  4. Internet access
  5. Budget

Third, What does the system need to do easily or have included in the software?

  1. Easy to update
  2. Custom content design in the software
  3. Secure online access from anywhere
  4. Templates
  5. Google Chrome App integration
  6. SaaS – Software as a service
  7. Multiple screen and location expansion
  8. No code writing
  9. Easy touch integration
  10. Live content – WYSIWYG
  11. Easy video and media integration
  12. Website integration
  13. Outstanding tech support
  14. Reliable platform
  15. Offline and Kiosk mode
  16. Instant updates and organization of donor lists
  17. RSS and social media feeds
  18. Free tutorials, demos and trials
  19. Remote hardware management
  20. Portrait, landscape or video wall orientation
  21. No IT concerns
  22. No software downloads
  23. Rolling software updates
  24. Instant Updates
  25. Analytics
  26. Multiple Users
  27. Content scheduling
  28. Sharing of personal URL
  29. Affordable
  30. No hidden fees or per device fees

Why Arreya Digital Signage Suite?

Arreya Digital Signage Suite was developed for digital donor walls. Frustrated with the products on the market, Presentations, Inc., the parent company of Arreya, decided to develop their own platform. Over 20 years of experience in the donor wall and museum industry along with knowing what was wrong with all the other platforms, made it easy to know what foundation, fundraisers and development directors wanted and needed in their digital signage platforms.

Arreya™, as the name implies, provides an array of visual communication opportunities to wi-fi-enabled digital devices simply and instantly. Arreya is the only cloud-based digital signage system of it’s kind. Before Arreya, creating, editing and managing content on a variety of devices had been tedious and expensive. It encompasses all of the 30 system needs listed previously, and then some.

Under the Presentations umbrella, is a complete package of in-house services to envision, design, develop, fabricate and install digital donor walls. Unlike other donor wall providers, Presentations is a one-stop shop, there is no third party vendors involved anytime in a clients project, including after. The team of engineers, artists, fabricators and developers assure every project exceeds expectations and is not a source of stress for the client. As a Google Cloud Partner, Arreya brings to the table the most powerful and reliable hardware on the market. The Arreya development team works closely with Google to test new Chrome devices and expand the abilities of Chrome devices.

The Arreya Digital Signage Suite team is accessible at the beginning of the project and in the future if there is ever a problem or question. No third party providers to contact with technical issues. All technical issues and questions are answered by the Arreya development team. Many frustrated clients have contracted Arreya to successfully retrofit current digital donor walls with the Arreya and Google Chrome platform.

Contact the Arreya team to discuss your project.   CONTACT ARREYA

Methodist Hospital Honors Organ Tribute Through Digital Donor Wall

Methodist Hospital Honors Organ Tribute Through Digital Donor Wall

Hospital Uses Digital Signage with Arreya to Celebrate the Gift of Life 

Hospital digital donor wall created for organ transplant center. Telling the story of both living and deceased donors in a easy to update digital display.

The Challenge: Telling the Stories of Donors

UnityPoint – Iowa Methodist Hospital was looking for a way to celebrate the lives of organ, eye and tissue donors.

They had been hanging poster boards with photos and stories, but those just got tattered on the walls and had to be recreated.

Keeping track of all of the information on hardcopies became cumbersome as more and more people saved lives through the donor program at UnityPoint – Iowa Methodist.

They wanted an attractive display that could be easily updated by staff members, and was interactive enough to draw people’s attention.


Creating a Digital Work of Art

Other UnityPoint hospitals that Iowa Methodist is a part of had are using Arreya Digital Signage Suite, and thought it would work well for the project at Iowa Methodist.

According to Cristina Nelson, Marketing and Public Relations for the hospital, there were no other digital signage companies considered, because of the ease-of-use that marketing departments from other hospitals had experienced. Cristina had never done graphics or layout and design, aside from the occasional Microsoft Word project. Within the Arreya Creative Studio, she created a beautiful interactive donor recognition display that tells the stories of those who have left a legacy by saving others.

The Arreya digital signage display is surrounded by a physical donor wall designed and fabricated by a third party.

“We are very happy with the [Arreya] system. It has been easy to update and create attractive displays.”

Cristina Nelson

Marketing and PR, UnityPoint - Iowa Methodist Hospital

Digital Signage:

Easy Software as a Service – Great Service

Cristina said that once she got into the program and worked in it, the platform was very easy to use. Being new at design programs, she did require some extra help getting started, and said “the customer service was beyond great.”

In the beginning, she and some team members had a tutorial session and it was a little overwhelming. After a second one-on-one session screensharing with Arreya tech, Josh Steinke, she was feeling more confident. Cristina feels that she would have been better prepared for the training session if she would have taken advantage of the FREE 30-day trial.

“Josh was my Godsend. Every time I had a question or had a problem, he would walk me through it, or just make a change that fixed it.” She loaded 60-70 donor story pages into Arreya, and then they needed a back button at the last minute. Josh helped her get it done in time for her opening.


Arreya was implemented in the Iowa Methodist Hospital located in downtown Des Moines, IA on a 42-acre campus. The hospital employs nearly 4,000 people and has 370 staffed beds. Among its services is a state-of-the-art kidney donation and transplant program.

UnityPoint – Iowa Methodist Hospital, located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa was looking for a better way to share donor stories from their transplant program.  By implementing Arreya Digital Signage Suite, they are able to remotely deploy and update donor stories directly to their 55” monitor. The hospital’s marketing and public relations professional, Cristina Nelson, used Arreya’s built in editor to create all the content on-time to meet their hard deadline for unveiling the transformation display.


Advice from the User

Use the FREE 30 Day Subscription and do the tutorials before your display has a deadline. Find out what the software can do, and how to do it. “Once you get familiar with it, using Arreya is really easy.” Cristina Nelson, UnityPoint Healthcare marketing department.


If you have questions about Arreya, contact us at 319-294-6671, or sign up for a FREE 30 Day Subscription and try it out.

Planning a Capital Campaign?

Planning a Capital Campaign?

Don’t Forget Donor Recognition Costs Money Too

You’re collecting donations for a fantastic improvements to your hospital or school – a new facility, better equipment or a program to be offered. It’s a grand project that every donor will be proud of, but don’t forget the donor recognition.

According to Helen Arnold of Arnold Olson Associates, your organization should plan for donor recognition early and don’t get stuck having to collect more donations after the project is paid in full to create a beautiful tribute.



How much of the total campaign should be used for a donor wall?

From the time you call for building project estimates, plan to add about 8-14% to your project cost for donor recognition. This will depend on the size of the project, but a large portion of the cost should be used for a physical tribute to your donors. Arnold says that planning too late can cause pushback from committee members.

Is the donor wall going to be for a single project, or will it be a “living wall” that your organization will continue to add to?

If the donor recognition wall will need continuous additions for later donations, consider the cost of adding names after the project is completed. Decide at what level donors will be honored with a physical element on the creative design, and at what level their name or company will be added to a digital donor list.

With a living wall, you can count on at least a yearly expense for additions. However, once the design is complete and the donor recognition piece is installed, future donations will bring down the initial percentage of donations the goes toward the project.

Is there a minimum donation amount that is worth spending extra money for an additional physical component to the design?

A digital donor list can be updated with ease, and is worth adding donors for just $5 – $10. Your organization board members can decide if donations of more than $1,000 or $10,000 are worthy of sending the information to your signage company for physical elements to be created and added. Very generous donors can have rooms or buildings named after them.

The amount of money chosen for the addition of artistic components for a donor recognition display may depend on the average donation, and how much it costs to make the additions. You won’t want to spend $20 to honor a $25 donation.

Ignoring Donor Recognition Could Cost You

Many donors give to leave a legacy, and recognition is important. If they don’t feel appreciated, or their loved one is not properly memorialized in your project, they may look for other causes for future funds. Reversely, if a donor recognition display speaks to a visitor, and they have an interest in your cause, they may see donating as an opportunity to be part of something.

If you have questions about donor recognition display design and fabrication, contact Arreya Digital Signage Suite, a division of Presentations, Inc. at 319-294-6671.

10 Reasons to Use Digital Signage for Donor Walls

10 Reasons to Use Digital Signage for Donor Walls

Every fundraising entity and foundation needs to find a way to increase donations and save money. Using Digital Signage in Donor Recognition Walls is the perfect solution. Even though there is more upfront costs, the overall cost of updates is small compared to static donor wall updates. Digital Donor Recognition also allows for donor stories, events, information and other content that normally is not included in donor walls. Donor walls with Arreya also allows for sharing of the personal URL, so long distant donors can see the content, keep up with the organization and help build donor relations.

  1. Versatility – Digital signage can blend with the display that surrounds it, or be a stand-alone kiosk piece.
  2. Immediate Updates – You can add new names to your digital donor display in seconds. Even if you plan to add the name to a physical donor wall, it buys you time to make updates to static walls.
  3. Cost Effective – Once the hardware and software is in place, you can make changes to the display without any further expenses.
  4. Recognize More People – If you want to list $5-$10 donations there is nothing stopping you. All you have to do is add the name to the digital list versus having donor plaques manufactured.
  5. Get Creative – Your digital donor display can be as simple, or as creative and complex as you want to make it. That depends on the design skills of the people maintaining the display, or if you have the initial design created professionally.
  6. Tell a Story – Iowa Methodist implements Arreya for an Organ and Tissue Donor Recognition Wall, and they use the digital signage component to tell the stories of more than 70 heros. Donor stories can easily be added to digital display.
  7. Interactive Displays – Draw visitors into your display with buttons and pages that they can explore, while telling the story of your mission and cause. Allow them to interact with the touchscreen display and learn more about why they should donate.
  8. Increase Donations – On the spot donations can be made with digital kiosks. Credit card processing or pledge forms to be filled out instantly or a link can be emailed to visitors.
  9. Increase Engagement – By adding videos, social media and award announcements you increase the visitor counts to your donor wall. Periodic updates keep the content fresh and ensure recurring visits from prospective donors.
  10. It’s Easy – If you find the right digital signage platform, making and publishing changes is just a click of a few buttons.