Design ideas for donor recognition plaques or shadow boxes

Written by sarah freeman
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Design ideas for donor recognition plaques or shadow boxes
Give thanks to an organisation's donors with personalised plaques. ( Images)

For many organisations and charities, the work they do and help they provide would not be possible without the contributions of donors. In order to recognise donors for their gifts, many organisations and charities create donor plaques or shadow boxes in honour of the contributor. Say "thank you" to your donors by designing a plaque or shadow box made especially for them.


Honour the donors and their gifts to the organisation by including their names and some words or short phrases on the plaques or shadow boxes. Always include the person's entire name (unless she wishes to remain anonymous). Include the complete first, middle and last name, as well as any professional titles, such as Doctor. If you include any dates in the design, spell out the name of the month rather than abbreviating it with numbers. Choose a formal font to write these words. Have them engraved on a plaque, or for a shadow box, write the text on a computer and print out the paper.


Include an image in the design, for an added element of thanks. This may include the organisation's logo or mascot, or the logo of the company that made the donation. Also, consider what the donation went toward and pick an image related to that. For example, if the donor gave money to help build a new park, choose a tree image to put on one plaque or shadow box, as well as swings, flowers and bicycles to put on others. Have the image engraved on the plaque. For shadow boxes, print the image from the computer, or hire an artist to draw the design especially for the recognition.


Donors give money as a way to help someone or something beyond themselves. Showcase what a difference their contributions are making by including the recipients in the design of the recognitions. For example, if a donor gave money to buy food for a starving child overseas, include a picture or name of that child in the design. Or, if the donation was made to a library project, include the name of the donor's favourite book. Using the shadow box as a medium, you can include photographs of the recipients, or even place an entire book in the thick frame.


When laying out the text, images and recipient recognitions on your plaque or shadow box, arrange the items so that they're not overcrowded. Think about what's most important in the recognition (which is usually the donor's name), and make that the predominant feature of the design. Arrange the completed plaques or shadow boxes together to create a visually pleasing design on the wall, in a shape or pattern. For example, if you have many shadow boxes or plaques, nail them to the wall in the shape of a heart, the year the donations were made, or the name of the organisation.

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