Donor Recognition Signage – Why is it Effective?
Signage for donor recognition is a creative and interactive piece of what we do at ASI. The process of planning, designing and creating donor recognition signage is especially hands-on.
Today, there is the sense that donor recognition signage is not only for acknowledgment but that it creates a unique storytelling opportunity for an organization to share its mission and values. Modern designs are generally architecturally integrated, artful installations that speak to the organization’s roots while honoring the generosity of donors that make their growth possible.
While there is an opportunity to showcase an organization in full, there is also the opportunity to retain and attract donors through recognition signage. Research shows a relationship between donation amount and level of recognition received by donors (Samek & Sheremeta, 2015) as well significant evidence that individuals are more likely to donate when they receive public recognition (Andreoni & Bernheim, 2009).
When done properly, donor recognition systems go beyond signage to become an iconic part of the architectural environment. At ASI, with experience in bringing donor recognition visions to life, our consultants walk clients through different types of materials, eco-friendly options, and electronic displays. Our goal is always to thematically and visually complement the architectural integrity of a space while integrating an organization’s mission, values, and brand. To be cost-effective, donor recognition signage is designed with flexibility and longevity in mind, often with modular or digital elements that allow changes.
Where is Donor Recognition Signage Found?
• Healthcare Facilities
• Educational Institutions
• Parks and Cultural Centers
What is Donor Recognition Signage?
Donor Recognition Plaque – Plaques are more traditional and normally honor an individual, organization, or small group of individuals. Often, plaques are posted outside doors in buildings that a major contribution helped build.
Donor Recognition Wall – Recognition walls consist of multiple signs or one large sign system that displays many names. Often, recognition walls are permanent installations that contain digital or modular elements for future updates.
Why is Donor Recognition Signage Effective?
1. Appreciation – A key element of donor retention is thanking your donors and letting them know you appreciate their contributions. Public recognition makes clear that your relationship is valued.
2. Build a legacy – Recognition signage remains on display for a long period of time. This is attractive to donors who wish to showcase their legacy.
3. Inspire other Donors – Prospective donors see donor recognition signs and are encouraged to give. Recognition can motivate donors to be strong and lasting supporters of your organization.
Best Practice Tips
• Consult your organization’s community so that they can share thoughts on the addition of a donor recognition installation since the landscape of the space will be altered.
• Ensure you work with a signage company that will create donor recognition signage that fits the culture of your organization.
Andreoni, J. and Bernheim, B. D. (2009). Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects. Econometrica, 77(5):1607–36.
Ariely, D., Bracha, A., and Meier, S. (2009). Doing Good or Doing Well ? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially. American Economic Review, 99(1):544– 55.
Holmes, J. G., Miller, D. T., and Lerner, M. J. (2002). Committing altruism under the cloak of self-interest: The exchange fiction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38(2):144–51.
Karlan, D. and McConnell, M. A. (2014). Hey look at me: The effect of giving circles on giving. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 106:402–12.
Samek, A. S. and Sheremeta, R. M. (2013). Recognizing Contributors: An Experiment on Public Goods.
Samek, A. S. and Sheremeta, R. M. (2015). Selective Recognition: How to Recognize Donors to Increase Charitable Giving