Posts in Storytelling
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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History Center in Review: PRISMA Health Upstate

The inaugural exhibit celebrated the Greenville Hospital System School of Nursing which opened its doors in 1911, one day before the hospital, and trained nurses until it closed in 1974. Drawing from a substantial archive of historical information and artifacts, subsequent exhibits have highlighted children’s medicine, the size and scope of the GHS system, the system’s centennial anniversary, and the importance of academic and clinical education to provide a pipeline of healthcare workers for the regional community, and orthopedic surgery. Future exhibits may include obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, neurology, and mental health.

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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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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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Story Captured In Just A Few Words: Children’s Hospital at Erlanger History Wall

In 2018, Heurista was awarded the design commission for the donor recognition and history exhibit in the new Kennedy Outpatient Center at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is a dynamic was environment designed to engage the community and provide positive experiences for children and their families needing outpatient services. Notably, the Kennedy Outpatient Center also heralds a new era in the evolution of the Erlanger Health System and the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. It is the first of several new buildings to be built in the coming years.

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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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UAB Blazers - Community Support for the Team

A nearly unbelievable thing happened: for a while, there was no football at the University of Alabama Birmingham. This was a decision that rocked the university and the city, pulling them together in support of a sport that was integral to the community and its sense of place. Over a remarkably short time, the community stepped forward supplying the necessary enthusiasm and financial support to rebuild the football program at UAB.

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Child-focused Donor Recognition: Opportunities for Creative Design

Designing donor recognition for projects focused on children provides special challenges and special rewards. “Bright and colorful, playful, engaging, interactive…” are the first instructions we hear. If a brand manager or the architect is in the room, “integrated, coordinated, and tasteful” get added to the list. Facilities chimes in with “safe, durable, and easy to maintain.” The foundation reminds us, “we may need to add names later” and “it has to be cost-conscious.” Such was the case in Chattanooga, Tennessee but there is so much more to be said about the Kennedy Outpatient Center at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

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Challenges and Advantages for Digital Donor Recognition


There are benefits and compromises inherent in the decision to use a screen to present donor recognition. A traditional donor wall allows a passive viewer to understand a considerable amount of information about the relationship between an organization and its donors without reading a single name. One can glean an idea of the number of donors from the size of the list. If a hierarchy of plaque sizes or categories is part of the display, those details let the viewer know that people give different amounts. The location of the display, the environment surrounding it, and the materials used to build it all help indicate the value the organization places on its donor. The best donor walls motivate the viewer to consider giving and explain how to make a gift.

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