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.