From the AFP International Fundraising Conference in Boston earlier this year, Amy Eisenstein interviews Karen Singer, about donor recognition and stewardship.
Karen shares how to increase donor contributions by using the donor wall as a fundraising tool.
Upon completion of the donor wall, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School commissioned us to design and fabricate complementary room naming plaques and donor gifts.
We believe that when you have an image that resonates, keep using it. Reinforce the impact by reiterating the imagery. Think of the donor wall as a branding system. Use it on room naming plaques, promotion materials such as donor gifts, thank-you notes, annual reports, etc.
In Christianity, cherry trees symbolize the sweetness of character that derives from good works, encouraging the Good Counsel community to fall in love with service of God. The tree and its blossoms were chosen for the mural not only for symbolic meaning but also in recognition of the cherry tree that stood in the Senior Courtyard on the Wheaton campus.
A series of Naming Plaques are located at entryways throughout the performing arts center.
Donor Gifts including a cherry blossom tile and stand, and a set of watercolor note cards that were presented to donors at the dedication event.
Donor gifts that are displayed stimulate conversation, leading to the owner spreading word about the organization and their involvement. For this reason, we consider gifts like this an additional marketing and motivational tool.
Plus, sometimes the presentation of a truly thoughtful donor gift can lead to a stronger and deeper connection, inspiring increased giving.
Want us to find symbolic imagery for your organization? Call today: 215-849-7010
This 60 foot long ceramic tile mural forms the grand entry to the new Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD.
We believe donor recognition needs to be personal – to reflect the reason why people give to a specific cause.
This donor wall was inspired by the school’s five Xaverian values and culture expressed through symbolic meanings. The school successfully raised $10 million and credits our work as a major factor in meeting their goals.
Cherry trees are traditional symbols of sweetness of character derived by good works. The tree and its blossoms were chosen for the mural in recognition of the cherry tree that stood in the Senior Courtyard on the school’s original campus in Wheaton.
White Dogwoods have flower bracts that resemble the nails that held Jesus to the cross. The tree represents new life and new beginnings as it blooms in Spring around Easter. The trees and shrubs represent the passage of the seasons and signify the growth and transformation of the students.
Fir trees symbolize patience and outreach towards Heaven. They refer to the spiritual growth and faith formation nurtured and developed at Good Counsel.
Oak trees symbolize endurance in the face of adversity. Each Good Counsel student is challenged and nurtured in the pursuit of excellence.
“The donor wall is one of the most attractive I’ve seen. And I’ve seen plenty.”
Jerry Panas, Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners
Our newly installed latest and largest donor wall to date. This 60 foot long ceramic tile mural forms the grand entry to the new Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Ol…
Source: Donor Wall Symbolism
Our newly installed latest and largest donor wall to date. This 60 foot long ceramic tile mural forms the grand entry to the new Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, MD. The school successfully raised $10 million and credits our work as a major factor in meeting their goals.
“In Harmony, Small Things Grow,” is the motto of the Xaverian Brothers. The motto and the Brothers’ five spiritual values speak to the transformational growth at the heart of the Good Counsel student experience.
Simplicity is represented by the Virgin Mary cradling, Jesus. The depiction is modeled on a statue located at the front entrance of the school and for whom the school is named.
More to come………………………
Our largest project ever was dedicated on May 14th, 2016! “In Harmony, Small Things Grow”, a 60 foot long ceramic mural forms the grand entry to the new Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland.
Good Counsel came to us in 2012 before the silent phase of their campaign. Our challenge was to showcase the school’s values and culture in a meaningful work of art that would inspire increased giving. Our design materials formed the centerpiece of their campaign literature.
We were informed that the school has a reputation for athletic excellence that has overshadowed their equally top-notch academics, fine and performing arts. This campaign arose from the determination to give the performing arts the facilities and recognition they deserve.
The mural is structured around five arched “windows” each representing one of Good Counsel’s Xaverian values. Choosing the imagery for each value sparked a client-artist dialogue about the school’s core identity- past, present and future.
It was gratifying to see people’s reactions to the mural. It really seemed to WOW them. This comment sums it up. “You described to me what this wall would look like and even showed me pictures. But it is so breathtaking, and it is so much more than I imagined it would be. It’s beautiful, and I can’t wait for our names to be up there.“
The opening events featured orchestral, dance, vocal, and drama performances by students. Their professionalism and passion were truly impressive!
I cannot wait to continue to add donor names, and see how the students flourish in this amazing space!
The year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of my company, Karen Singer Tileworks. Amazing how much has changed since 1991!
Then, as a sculptor, I saw making donor walls for non-profits as a way to create meaningful public art and get paid for it. Nothing wrong with this, but these days I have a very different perspective on what I do.
My focus now is on being a part of a fundraising team: creating an iconic portrait of my client’s identity at its core. Incredibly, this can actually increase giving!
As an artist, I design fine art donor walls for major gifts campaigns. But as a fundraiser, I create mission statement, motivational murals that inspire giving by attracting positive attention to the essence of what they do.
To my non-profit clients, their dedicated fundraising staff members, and the donors who support their causes, Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for allowing me to spend twenty five years partnering with you on such meaningful work.
If you are planning on attending the CASE II Conference this weekend, please come visit us in booth 401.
Come out, meet the artist, touch some art, & let us help you exceed your fundraising goals!
November was National Hospice Month, a time to honor the care giving heroes who make a remarkable difference in the lives of patients and the families they serve.
Our client, Capital Caring has provided this compassionate care for more than thirty years and opened a an in-patient facility in Aldie VA.
The mural functions as donor recognition, but it also provides a vibrant welcome in the entrance foyer. It is our hope that while providing a reflection on life’s journey, it provides a deflection of personal pain.
The mural depicts a birds eye view landscape featuring an undulating river (suggestive of the Shenandoah) and symbolic of “the river of life.” The grassy areas represent the horse farms and the rolling countryside of Loudoun County. In the background are the Shenandoah Mountains and the Washington DC skyline. In addition to the recognized regional landscape, the mural contains a great deal of symbolism.
The sailboat and kayaks represent a safe crossing. The adirondack chairs represent repose, calmness and peace. The horizontal border tiles depict stages of the life of a lotus flower, symbolizing radiance of spirit as well as transition.
The labyrinth symbolizes a grounding spiritual pathway, and also refers to the labyrinth planted on the grounds.
We delve deeply into our client’s culture to create artwork that becomes a visual mission statement. In turn, this sparks an emotional connection between donor and the organization.
This connection inspires giving: People literally stop, look and ask,
“How do I get on the wall?”
If you want to raise more funds, give me a call today 215-849-7010
Come celebrate with us the weekend of Oct 17-18th, Noon – 6PM at our Germantown studio for the 16th Annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours!
Meet & Greet with Karen Singer, and our guest artist Tieshka K. Smith whose photography will be displayed in our studio/gallery!
Also get the chance to interact with clay & shop our amazing collection of art tiles and objects available on site. Great for getting an early start on that holiday shopping!
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Our studio is located at:
90 East Church Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144 (corner of Church Lane and Lena Sts., one block east of Germantown Avenue between School House Lane and Coulter Sts.)
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