Donor Wall Aviation Museum

All-Digital vs. Hybrid Donor Walls

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the way donors are recognized and honored has changed. Donor walls have long been a staple of fundraising campaigns. These walls serve as a visual representation of the generosity of philanthropists and provide a way to show appreciation for their contributions.

However, with the rise of all-digital donor walls and hybrid options, the decision about which to use relies on the unique recognition needs of each organization.

Meet with our donor engagement strategist to discuss how fostering culture of philanthropy can transform your fundraising program.

All-Digital vs. Hybrid Donor Walls: What's the Difference?

When comparing an all-digital donor wall to a hybrid donor wall, it’s important to understand what each entails.

all-digital donor walls

An all-digital donor wall is a collection of screens that showcase donor names, stories, and organization information. They’re often positioned in high-traffic areas within a hospital such as a lobby to maximize impact. An all-digital wall does not feature any static or architectural elements.


Traditionally, donor walls were static walls with a listing of donor names. In recent years, foundations have been turning to digital options as technology advances. Hybrid donor walls are a combination of a static donor wall and an all-digital wall, getting the best of both options. The static elements within a hybrid wall are used for donor names, while the digital elements are often used for storytelling.

Features of All-Digital vs. Hybrid Donor Walls

Before considering donor wall types, ask these questions:

  • What do your donors prefer?
  • How emotionally engaging is the wall?
  • How sustainable is the wall?

Donor preference

With BrookGlobal’s 40 years of experience working on over 1,000 donor recognition and engagement projects and our wealth of in-house philanthropy expertise, we haven’t yet seen strong donor preference for all-digital donor walls.

Donors like to associate their names and their gifts with a sense of permanence. They don’t want to see their name on a fleeting digital screen when their donation is part of their legacy.

In contrast, a hybrid donor wall using a combination of digital and static elements provides a sense of legacy with the donor names featured on static elements.

emotional connection & storytelling

Digital donor walls can offer motion that static components can’t. The bright and colorful screens attract attention, as people are drawn to motion and visuals. You can use photos, videos, and animation to prompt viewers to want to come in closer and learn more. And with screens all being High Definition (HD) now, the text is more legible than a traditional bronze plaque. The changing screens also allow for sharing more content while using the same amount of real estate.

Hybrid donor walls offer the same motion and interactivity that all-digital walls do. However, instead of screen switching from donor names to storytelling, hybrid walls have the names listed on the static elements, and the digital elements are solely used for storytelling and engaging with visitors.


While digital walls may seem easier to update, we’ve found that they require significant internal resources to maintain the updates, especially if the software is complex or not designed for user-friendliness. For some organizations, all-digital walls are overwhelming and can lead to blank screens.

Hybrid walls that use the Brook Easy Change System for the static elements allow your organization to quickly and cost-effectively switch out all or parts of your messaging easily.

For the digital elements of a hybrid wall, there are usually fewer screens than an all-digital wall, making it easier to keep updated. At BrookGlobal, we work with you to update your Brook Easy Change static elements and digital content on an ongoing basis.

Hybrid Digital Donor wall at Montreal Childrens

Balancing a Sense of Permanence with the Latest Technology

The question for organizations can be whether to pursue the sense of permanence that a traditional donor wall offers or the latest technology and appreciation trends that a digital wall offers.

An all-digital donor wall is right for:

  • Organizations that have a large content team dedicated to updating the digital system.
  • Organizations with a young donor base want the latest trend or technology.

A hybrid donor wall is right for:

  • Organizations who want their donors to have a sense of permanence and legacy without compromising visual interest and storytelling capabilities.
  • Organizations who want a beautiful system that’s durable, and easy to update and maintain.

Next Steps for Choosing Between an All-Digital Donor Wall vs. a Hybrid Donor Wall

Static and digital elements have specific parts to play as part of your donor engagement system. If you’re still wondering which system is right for you, talk to one of our donor recognition experts today.

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