At our annual fundraiser, we are always trying to find new ways to engage our audience in order to raise additional funds. We’ve found that the most successful tools to increase proceeds are methods that are easy for the donor and connect the donor to our cause in a meaningful way.
Based on what we’ve learned, we’re excited to introduce to you a new tactic that we’d love to share with you…the giving wall!
In this post, we’ll outline easy steps you can take to build a giving wall for your next event. But first, what exactly do we mean when we say giving wall?
To start, a giving wall is related to a fund-a-need campaign in that it creates different levels at which your donors can pledge. Typically, each level will represent a different cause, project, or movement that your donors can support. As with a fund-a-need, you can specify the different pledge levels and causes that are supported by your giving wall, providing your donors transparency into where their funds are going.
As mentioned before, this transparency helps your supporters forge a closer connection with your cause, leading to higher engagement, pledge frequency, and proceeds.
Giving walls are also unique in that they have a great physical presence. Our preference is to make the giving wall stand out at an event. Typically, each cause supported by the giving wall will have its own section within the wall, clearly displaying the different pledge levels. Guests walk by the giving wall, learn about the causes supported, and donate on the spot!
Now that we’ve explained what a giving wall is, it’s time to show you how to create your own in five easy steps:
1. Determine the structure you will use, and build it!
The first step in creating your giving wall will be determining the structure and size that you’d like to use. The most popular structures include shelves/cubbies or simply mounting your giving wall on an existing wall. For our giving wall, we used the structure below (found at Ikea ).
Once you’ve chosen the structure you would like to use, it’s time to build/assemble!
2. Determine Your Giving Levels
Now, it’s time to create your giving levels – each will have a different pledge minimum. Depending on your structure, you may have different giving levels available. Our giving wall had 16 total squares, but we only used six different giving levels. The remaining squares had instructions or signage. Our fundraiser supports Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, so we used the giving levels below:
- $10 – Provide transportation assistance to give patients better access to care
- $25 – Fund our pediatric clinic’s toy closet and treasure chest
- $50 – Provide comfort for patients with books and magazines
- $100 – Help our mammography van reach more communities
- $200 – Fund the development of new cancer drugs
- $500 – Help screen for skin cancer
Of course, based on your cause and your audience, you can change the giving levels and minimums for each level.
3. Print your signage and directions
Once you’ve determined your giving levels, it is time to print out your signage and directions. As you can see with our giving wall, we used the top row of our structure to create an appealing sign for our event. This sign included our event’s name and instructions on how to give.
For each giving level, we suggest printing a sheet of paper that fills one of the sections or squares of your giving wall. On these sheets, you can include the minimum pledge amount, along with the cause or level that is being supported for a donation of the specified amount.
Finally, you will want to include instructions on how to actually donate. While writing down a donation via check or paying manually is always an option, we find that the most successful giving walls embrace mobile fundraising. Here, guests can view the giving wall and donate via text message, checking out manually from their device using a credit card.
If you choose to move forward with a mobile giving tool, you can include instructions like the ones on the example to the right.
4. Add Your Signage and Instructions
Now that you’ve printed everything for your giving wall, it’s time to add the instructions and signage in an appealing manner. Make sure to fill any empty squares with signage or decorations. When complete, you’ll have your finished product!
5. Start Raising Money!
You’re now ready to raise money! Be sure to place your giving wall in a prominent location at your event venue, preferable in an area that will have a lot of foot traffic.