Phoebe Health System Residential Housing Facility Donor Recognition

This display is unique at Phoebe. Rather than relying on a traditional naming opportunities strategy, all donor recognition is grouped in a display in the main lobby. Heurista recommended this approach as a result of our work with other residential housing projects. This strategy puts all donor recognition displays in the most public of the areas in the facility. Likewise, it helps foster a sense of place at the apartment door for each resident, minimizing the signage to only that required for wayfinding and fire safety.

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Floyd Polk Medical Center Philanthropy Display

To foster those relationships, the Floyd Foundation created a display that coordinates with the structure, look and feel of system-wide donor recognition but conveys stories specific to the local community. There's a panel acknowledging the legacy of giving in this community, space for communicating current philanthropic initiatives, and a segment to recognize Phoebe Worth employees who participate in the SPIRIT employee giving campaign. The panels are updated annually to keep stories and list up-to-date and connected to the experience of those who work or are treated at Floyd Polk Medical Center.

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Listening: An investigation into two-way communication with donors

The broadly stated goal in listening to donors or other constituents is to learn how they think – how they think about the institution as a whole, how they think about a recent decision or change, how they think about a specific event or piece of communication.  Donor relations professionals are poised to take leadership in defining the methods, limitations, risks, and benefits inherent in creating two-way communication with donors.

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Union of Concerned Scientists Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Recently, we had the good fortune to work with UCS on a history wall to be used at several events across the country this year as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Highlighting major milestones throughout their organization's history to give an overall view of their progress while making it larger than life, easy to set up, and light enough to ship cost effectively were the charges we were given.

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Series: How to Build Change into Your Donor Recognition Strategy

A comprehensive and strategic donor recognition program is a critical indicator of an organization’s ability to build strong relationships with its donors and increase philanthropic support of its mission. Creating a strategy for success starts with understanding that recognition is about saying thanks in ways that celebrate the donors while highlighting the unique character of the organization.

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Series: Donor Program Management Tools

Effective donor recognition can’t happen in a bubble.

It’s got to be a group effort. Internal and external teams must align on objectives, roles, budgets, and schedules to create standards around all types of donor recognition. The final product of that collaboration is a living document, keeping everyone on the same page with the occasional update or edit.

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Series: How to Make Permanent Public Donor Recognition Work for You

Just like any big commitment in life — a marriage, a child, a tattoo — permanent public donor recognition requires careful consideration, and not just of one person’s opinion.

Twenty years creating plaques and displays — those elements most likely to take a permanent public place in an organization — allows me to make a bold assertion: campus-based donor recognition should be an investment in talking about donors to the general audience, not simply a method for generating a positive response from the individual donor.

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Series: Donor Recognition Program Design

Donor recognition activities can be private or public, temporary or permanent, and reside at the organization or with the donor. As always, it’s important that each activity aligns with your overall strategy, and that you adjust your tactics as needed. But in general, a strong donor recognition strategy is built on a few key tactics:

  • Mass communication (with personalization whenever possible)

  • Customized communications (such as individually crafted letters and phone calls)

  • Tours or meetings with leaders, researchers or service providers

  • Events (large or small)    

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Series: The Donor is Everything in Donor Recognition – True or False?

Organizations often misinterpret the concept of “donor-centric” and establish subjective goals like “surprising and delighting” donors. Then that becomes a measure of success. But while it’s always good to excel in the expression of gratitude, setting this as a goal is not a substitute for a fully formed donor recognition strategy. An organization must strive to achieve the greatest impact with the time and money invested — not just with the donor, but with its entire community.

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