Donor Wall Inventory Best Practice


Over time, staff people come and go and the continuity becomes lost. In that process, new policies for recognition are created, and the rules seem to always be in flux. Every time a new person comes on board, this is frustrating. Eventually, everything gets to be documented, in a binder that can be passed on to anyone that sits in that donor relations chair. It is the preservation of your recognition history that we are trying to study. This will usually include:

Donor Recognition Inventory Best Practices

• Needs Assessment:

  • Lost or stored recognition pieces?
  • Method of tracking gift giving information?
  • Aesthetic organization of plaques and displays? Is the message consistent?
  • Continuity and theme? Do you have a face of philanthropy that you present to the world, a consistent look to every recognition component? Do you follow your organizations branding standards consistently? Do you need amendments for recognition?
  • Policy and structure pertaining to recognition?

• Existing Inventory Research

  • Gather, organize and catalog past and present recognition information-dynamic listing including all available and reserved naming opportunities
  • Spreadsheet-searchable database
  • Photographs of every item, filing system for photos linking to inventory spreadsheet
  • Include architectural plans with numbered locations for all donor recognition components that are used for coordination and record keeping.
  • Prioritize what needs to be updated.

• Information collection & inventory: names, dates, dollar amounts, plaque/donor wall/named room/named athletic field

  • See Inventory Doc attached. Inventory
  • Notes need to include what works well and what doesn’t, to facilitate future recognition coordinators.

• Consolidation:

  • Create a permanent log of the recognition information
  • Categorize and consolidate all recognition
  • Are there any refurbishing needs?
  • Can any plaques or plates be returned to donors?
  • What about a re-dedication ceremony for refurbished plaques and donor walls?

• Record Keeping:

  • Must be searchable!
  • Sort information by categories
  • Develop programs to contact past donors
  • Merge information into a database
  • Be able to show donor the location of their plaque when requested

• Standardization:

  • Decide on design concepts for a recognizable graphic identity: Materials/colors/fonts/logos/ or other graphics
  • Create a standardization template of sizes of plaques by size of gift
  • Create a standardization of styles for types of recognition: Naming opportunities/annual funds/cumulative/employee
  • Everything needs to be coordinated according to Size, Content, Materials and Placement per gift level and type.

• Policies

  • Why is a plaque proposed for this type of gift? Is the plaque intended to be permanent?
  • Who will be honored – How many people? What giving levels?
  • What wording will be used?
  • When will it be installed?
  • How will the plaque or plaque system be funded, and if necessary, be maintained? Who is paying for it?
  • Policy determining look, location, price and relationship to other wall items such as art and awards.
  • Budget policy for future awards is established.
  • Establish an authorization flow chart of gift acceptance rules and recognition so that everyone is on the same page.

• Plans for Reorders and Maintenance Procedures

  • Require concise, convenient documentation from all product suppliers to ease and expedite the re-order process. Must include date ordered, size, material, personalization method and who installed.

For more information, contact:

RCB Donor Recognition

8000 W. Capitol Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53222