Since the 20th century, donor walls have been erected to recognize the contribution of individuals and groups that provide financial assistance to non-profit entities. The donations they make help the entities venture out and work towards making the world a better place, without any intention to profit from their efforts and operations. Since they don’t generate any revenue, they require the privileged people of the world to step forward and contribute.
Most people who do make donations to these organizations do so out of a sense of pure altruism. In fact, it is not uncommon to see them make ‘anonymous’ donations. As they aren’t expecting to be rewarded in any way for their generosity, mentioning their name on a donor wall is a way to thank them for their support. Originally donor walls were actual, physical structures. The names of the donors were engraved on the structure, or written on plaques that hung on the wall.
With the advancement in technology, donor walls designs evolved as well. Today, interactive multimedia devices are used to set up digital donor walls. This includes plasma displays and even touch-screen kiosks. It depends on the institution, the type of donor wall they want to erect. In some cases, the cost of setting up a digital donor wall is lower than having an actual structure built and placed.
Donor walls are a common feature in the main lobby or hallway of nonprofit institutions. Rather than mentioning the names of the donors for a specific period of time, they leave them on display permanently. The donor walls, more often than not, also feature the name of the institution along with its motto or core message.
Over the passage of time, having their name on the donor wall has become a source of motivation for people to contribute to worthy causes. They donate the amount they can afford and thus, take part in a good deed. In some cases, the unveiling of the donor wall is a media event that generates publicity for the cause and attracts more people. This is why donor walls have grown in importance and popularity over the years.
While profit remains a strong motivator, the desire and willingness to promote and work for a cause is also a great motivation for many. Honoring such people is just as noble as their efforts, and donor walls play an important role in recognizing their contribution.