Managing donor recognition can be tedious. At the very least, it is a time-consuming task. Making certain that every donor is recognized respectfully, with dignity and fairness can be a full time job. Many of our clients have come to us asking for help.
Questions such as, “Did we make a plaque for John Doe fifteen years ago?” and “What size were those plaques we made for the capital campaign in 1995?” are more common that one might think.
What should be done with all those plaques from the past – not yet captured in the database management tools? Too often we find them stored in a closet where their purpose is kept secret. What a shame. Each and every plaque holds a story waiting to be told and an opportunity to reconnect with a past donor.
The truth is that the fundraising world is faced with endless challenges. Time, budgets, deadlines, and staff turnover leave little time for tracking where each and every donor plaque or recognition piece is or should be.
We have found that the best way to alleviate the stress of donor recognition management is through tracking all donor recognition in a single file rather than tracking by individual campaign or annual giving. This way you can sort all recognition by donor, plaque size, location, material, honoree, or whatever criteria preferred.
Do you need to know how many plaques are on the third floor? In the Emergency Department? Made of cast bronze? Dedicated to Jane Doe? Just use the sort or “control+F” function and… voila! Instant access to valuable information to help you manage your historical donor recognition.
But what to do with all those mis-matched plaques that represent your institution’s founding philanthropists but lack aesthetic continuity? Some of our past clients have opted to create a Legacy Wall where donor names are consolidated into a single donor wall display and historical plaques are restored and integrated to preserve the history of your organization and to inspire giving. A culture of, “No donor is left behind” is born as you move forward into the future.
Now you can celebrate and honor your historical philanthropists! Invite past donors and family members to attend a rededication ceremony as you unveil the Legacy Wall. Perhaps even present the old plaques to family members as a keepsake.
Imagine a community citizen arrives at your office and states, “My mother is considering a planned gift. I brought her here today to see the donor recognition plaque that was created in honor of her donation 25 years ago. Can you please bring us to see the plaque?”. Has something like this ever happened to you? Were you able to respond quickly and confidently?
LegacyCurator is a comprehensive service that provides dedicated staff to inventory, organize, and catalog past and present donor recognition. Visit http://www.honorcraft.com/consulting.cfm to download a complimentary questionnaire to determine whether your organization could benefit from our program. Contact us directly if you would like to learn how the program can be customized to suit your needs.
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