5 Reasons Why It’s Critical To Update Your Donor Recognition Wall

Thank you. A tiny phrase with a big impact. It can even cause a chain reaction. Gratitude is front and center for non-profits. Your thank-you doesn’t end on receipt of the gift. So how can we show our ongoing appreciation? That is where donor walls come in. Here’s five reasons why your donor wall should be updated.

Want to update your donor recognition system? Book a meeting with our fundraising and donor recognition experts to get the process started!

1. Recognize new donors promptly

In a recent study, 54% of donors said they gave because they believed in the mission of the organization. In other words, your new donors are engaged with what you’re doing now.

Don’t let months drag by before you acknowledge their generosity! Recognize their giving promptly. They’ll be encouraged to give again, and their philanthropy will live on. Our updatable systems lets you easily refresh your donor wall within seconds. 

2. Increase donor retention with updatable systems

You care. But do your donors know that?

Have you told them where their money is going? Every donation makes an impact. Tell them about the neonatal incubator, or the new aquatic center on your campus. Relevant information keeps current donors engaged and inspired to keep giving. A donor recognition wall that is frequently refreshed turns new donors into ongoing donors.

donor recognition wall, the donor retention challenge

3. Attract future donors

These are the people who are not donating yet.

According to canadahelps.org, the average donor retention rate is 43%. This means that for every 100 people who donate to your foundation,  57 of them won’t come back. So it’s important to keep attracting first-time donors.

Tired signage that never changes won’t inspire the average millennial or Gen Z to donate.

4. Engage all stakeholders

So back to that chain reaction.

When all stakeholders — donors, staff, visitors, patients, students and community — are given a sense of belonging, great things happen.

A caregiver, bone-weary from a 12-hour shift, reads a thank-you note from a family — and feels energized to be back tomorrow. A patient recovers, and a donor smiles, knowing that they were partly responsible for the good news. A father or mother reads through the list of donors and is grateful knowing that their child’s recovery would not have been possible without the generosity of these donors. And a visitor browses through all the information and decides to give… 

guy taking a picture of a donor recognition wall

5. Opportunity for a better location

As any realtor will tell you, location is key. Where are your communication systems right now?

When you expand or refresh your facility, take the chance to upgrade your donor wall. It might be time to give it a new location. See here for some good ideas on where to put your messaging systems.


Done well, the cost of donor recognition will more than pay for itself, especially in terms of donor loyalty, patient confidence, staff morale, and community goodwill. 

When a totally new and updated donor recognition system was designed and installed at a college, the donations and gifts began to pour into the foundation office. What makes this remarkable is that these gifts came without an actual request for funds – only an invitation to view the new donor display.

These results simply would have not been possible without refreshing the donor recognition system. Donor motivation was sparked by the enhanced communication of the new display and they took a renewed interest in where they wanted their name to appear with in the hierarchy of the donor wall. The increase donations were a welcomed surprise for the college’s foundation staff and it spurred them on to develop additional recognition displays to motivate more donations.

Found something that works well?

Send us a note and we’ll share it with others!

Traditional donor walls are costly to update. And what use is a stagnant system that only informs you about what happened last year, or 10 years ago? Our Brook Easy Change System makes it quick, easy, and economical to update your content and keep your system fresh and relevant. 


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