Posts in Recognition
Interconnected Digital Storytelling Launched at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

Philanthrosphere®, Heurista’s online platform for interconnected storytelling, was recently launched at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library. Awarded Library of the Year in 2016, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library serves as a bustling community hub. The library has a long, rich history in the area and features a 100,000 square-foot addition designed by architect Michael Graves.

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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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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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Hammond School Innovation Center Supported by Philanthropy

Hammond School provides a unique pre-K through 12th-grade educational experience in Columbia, SC. The program focuses on character development, leadership, and experiential learning. The Innovation Center, completed in 2018, demonstrates the atmosphere where students at Hammond have the opportunity to learn and share experiences that go beyond what is available at many colleges. Education in facilities of this caliber is made possible through the support of philanthropists who support the school’s mission, vision and values.

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