Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen a dramatic evolution in donor recognition, especially with digital donor walls. And, given the incredible advances in technology we’ve seen in every aspect of our lives, it’s only natural that there has been an impact on the donor recognition industry. There’s a good chance you’re reading and interacting with this on a smartphone or tablet. And the last news story you read likely wasn’t printed in newsprint, either.
In the late 2000’s, including digital elements in donor wall displays started gaining popularity. Before long, they became the latest and greatest trend that everyone had to have – regardless of whether they were actually needed. Some even went so far as to design an entirely digital donor recognition display.
For some, a digital donor wall display was exactly what was needed and worked well. For others, they were an overwhelming, make-work project that before long, showcased nothing more than blank screens. And you don’t have to visit too many healthcare and university lobbies to find a long-faded-to-black screen staring at you.
So, what went wrong? Why weren’t they the eye-catching, exciting, interactive element they were supposed to be? Well, some of it was simply a case of not thoroughly examining the 5 W’s.
- Who is the intended audience?
- What are they supposed to do with the touch screen?
- When, and how often, is it going to be used?
- Where are you putting it?
- And most importantly, Why do you need to use it?
Let’s see what the research tells us.
Research has proven that traditional use of digital recognition simply does not work. And unlike a lot of research, it’s pretty conclusive. It’s also told us that stand-alone digital recognition isn’t an effective option either. Setting the statistical evidence aside, the research captured some very telling comments:
- “Our system is very difficult and costly to maintain”
- “The donors do not like it”
- “There is something different about having your name engraved on a plaque that feels more lasting than if your name is flying by on a computer screen. To our age range of donors, the computer screen doesn’t mean as much to them.”
- “People do not use the interactive feature”
In 2014, Brook Recognition undertook a study of the usage of interactive touch screens installed in major hospitals and universities across Canada. The resulting data was extremely valuable and was the basis for creating a system that does deliver the intended benefits.
This is what we’ve learned.
The Recognition Paradigm Shift® has impacted how we view digital recognition. We’ve listened to the feedback our clients have provided, we’ve done the research, and we’ve adjusted. Digital recognition must be re-aligned to fit within the new definition of donor recognition. It must have a definitive purpose and cannot be utilized just for the sake of fitting in with what may be perceived as “state-of-the-art”.
Contact Brook Recognition today and learn how you can develop a useful digital recognition tool that will help you reach your goals