Posts in Storytelling
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
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.

Read More
Learning at the International Storytelling Center

It was an eye-opening experience to experiment with ways of storytelling that create internal change in communities and institutions. This work seems important not only in the current political climate, but also in the work that nonprofits are doing internally and externally to make change and achieve ambitious goals. How do the stories that you use positively or negatively affect the outcome of your work?

Read More
Catawba Valley Medical Center: 50th Anniversary Celebration

October 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the Catawba Valley Medical Center. Heurista has worked with CVMC for more than a decade designing project-specific displays; a central philanthropy center recognizing cumulative, planned and annual donors; digital donor recognition; and an art program showcasing local artists. It was an honor to be selected to help celebrate the anniversary by designing semi-permanent graphics that connect the hospital to the community it serves.

Read More
Creative Placemaking: Turning Song into Place

Immersive experiences are all the rage now. The term has gotten a new life with the trend of sharing pictures that drive personal narratives. When I look back over my 20+ years designing for public spaces I can recall the idea of immersive always being present. Scale often drives a sense of immersion as do interactive components and attention to details. A project from days before everyone carried a camera and all the worlds information in their hands is the Giving Garden that was commissioned by a leading retail cluster developer. The challenge was to use the principles of Creative Placemaking to carry the traditional narrative of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ song. What Fun!

Read More
New Methods of Engagement: Virtual Reality in Philanthropic Placemaking

We are curious about the emerging Virtual Reality communication platforms and innovations and specifically what opportunities they bring to Philanthropic Placemaking. We stalk the latest VR news. We use our team in NYC to participate in most opportunities to strap on the next brand of headset, leave the real world and experience a creative VR team’s virtual place. They are all worth the trip.

Read More