effective donor recognition strategy

5 Ways To Create An Effective Donor Recognition Strategy

What is the purpose of an effective Donor Recognition strategy? The first thought, likely, is to thank generous contributors to your cause. But the potential is there for it to be so much more.

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At BrookGlobal, we have examined donor recognition from a new standpoint, creating a Recognition Paradigm Shift®. We no longer see just a beautiful work of art that tells your donors how much you appreciate them. We also see a useful tool for you, the fundraising professional, to utilize on a day-by-day basis to advance your success.

How is this possible? We begin by laying a solid foundation to build upon: the Recognition Strategy®. By embracing this new way of viewing Donor Recognition in the early stages, you can build an entire strategy around a carefully considered Donor Recognition System. The following five suggestions will help you create an effective Donor Recognition strategy.

1. Recognize the value.

While all donors are genuinely appreciated and make a difference, prominence of recognition should be consistent with the size of the gift. This means that all donors can still be recognized, but just not in the same way.

2. More than a 'thank you'.

In order to inspire your donors and keep them loyal to your cause, you need to engage them. Do more than a simple thank you with their name on the wall: show them the impact their donation has on the lives of others.

3. Make a meaningful connection.

Your donor display may be meaningful to you, but does it tell your story — where you’ve been and where you’re going? Does it showcase your cause? Does it tell the story of those donors with a personal connection?

donor recognition wall, effective Donor Recognition strategy

4. Ensure the system can grow with you.

One of the biggest frustrations with existing donor recognition options is lack of functionality. Your display needs to present an ever-changing face if it is to be an effective tool for your current needs.

5. Selectively choose a location.

It’s a cliché that location is everything, but with donor recognition, it is certainly true. Many factors must be considered when choosing the location of your display, including your long-term goals and plans, traffic flow, space and much more.

Wondering what locations are the best for your donor recognition system? Download our guide of Top 12 Locations for Foundation Messaging.

Embracing the Recognition Paradigm Shift® and the changing face of donor recognition will impact your success, both in your organization and in your professional career. It will open up opportunities that have not existed before, and allow you to capitalize on your donor recognition investment. 

To read more about how we are helping other clients create effective donor recognition strategies, click here.


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