To see our standard range of donor recognition products please visit our sister company

How to Start a Donor Recognition Project

Every project is highly customized to integrate with your organizations, brand, architectural vision, and designed to be economical and easy and affordable to manage. To get started we can meet with you at the project site, or with some basic information, we can start a project via e-mail or by phone. (248-207-3921)

After our initial conversation we'll create design concepts so you can see what your program will look like. Along with design drawings, we'll include material samples, provide costs and include a definitive plan for updating and adding new names. We will also provide a detailed schedule and a step-by-step process. All of our projects are highly customized, designed to fit your specific requirements and tailored to work within your environment. To accomplish this goal, we will need some help from you.

See samples of our Concept Design Drawings, click here.
The following information will help us develop an ideal solution for your organization:

1. Establish a budget. Our experience tells us that starting with a target budget is a critical success factor for an effective donor recognition program. We can design a donor wall that costs $5,000, $50,000 or $100,000. If we know the target, we can design a successful program, while staying as far under the budget as possible. We can help you determine an appropriate budget based on your type of organization, the financial goals of the campaign and the anticipated number of prospective donors.

2. Together we can define the basic parameters of the project. Is it a donor wall? Individual room signs? Exterior signage? An interactive system? Some combination of these elements?

3. How many donors are expected? How many categories? What are the largest and smallest gift amounts that will be recognized? Our experience can help you throughout the planning process, but it does help to think early about these questions.

4. Is there a campaign logo? Should we include the corporate logo? If so, we would like editable eps versions of these logos. (Your marketing department will understand what we need.) 

5. Please take several photos of the proposed donor recognition area and its surroundings. Understanding the architectural style and seeing the materials already in use are essential to customizing a plan that best fits your environment. If it is new construction, we will contact the architect or interior designer to get the information we need.

With this information, we can create initial design concepts, develop a schedule through final installation, create an updating plan and provide a firm cost budget.     Every donor recognition project has an unalterable deadline. There is often a dedication event. Or perhaps a major donor is coming for a visit. We are very diligent about keeping the project on schedule. This includes being proactive about making sure our busy clients are reviewing design concepts on time and are on track with developing the list of names.

A critical key to success is fully understanding  the costs and process for adding new names to a recognition program. The challenges involved with managing hundreds or thousands of names can be daunting if an efficient process is not designed into the system at the start. The cost for updating names should be in balance with the gifts. It may be reasonable to spend $1,000 or more to recognize a gift of $10 million, but it would be too much for a $10,000 gift. Adding a $30 insert to a donor wall does not make sense when recognizing a $100 gift.

We have seen many "dead walls." These are donor walls that can't be updated because the cost is too great, or it is simply not practical or possible to make changes. We have never designed a dead wall, and we will make sure we never do.

If you have any questions or are ready to get started, please contact us at 248-207-3921, or