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Evocative Donor Recognition

Tired of bricks and plaques to commemorate donors? So are we. Experience Design Consultant ZEBRADOG approaches higher education donor recognition with unique feature elements that invite people to connect with a place and linger longer.

People want to be associated with a story and the brand of a university. We excel in the pre-design and pre-construction phases by celebrating a donor story that attracts like-minded alumni and invites robust philanthropic giving.

How can we close the gap between the ask and the gift for your next donor campaign?
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“ZD takes us right to the edge every time… They help us think not what’s possible today but what we want to be tomorrow.”
Linda Zwicker
Associate Dean
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology

Featured Donor Project

Ember Hall Igniting the Future | Donor Recognition Experience

Throughout its history, the School of Human Ecology (SOHE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been on the leading edge of work that improves the lives of children, families, consumers, and communities. The school is a leader for its innovative, human-centered approach to education, research, and public service.

Ember Hall is SOHE’s new donor recognition experience which honors the community of donors in deep gratitude and celebration of what we can accomplish to improve human well-being. This beautifully designed installation recognizes those who embody the spirit of the SOHE’s mission.

Ember Hall is a sacred shared space within SOHE that honors philanthropic gifts of over $100k from individuals, families, foundations, corporations, and others celebrating the power of philanthropy. It anchors a recent renovation to act as a portal to a café lounge and collaboration/innovation lab. This high-traffic location is the center of social interaction, idea exchange, and the mingling of students and faculty across SOHE’s study disciplines and programs.

Ember Hall gently pulses with color-shifting lighting. Its warmth welcomes participation. The space is adorned from wall to wall and floor to ceiling with intricate patterning carved into wood tiles. Floating within this blanket of pattern are the illuminated names of SOHE donors. This one-of-a-kind display offers the school 650 tiles giving fundraisers ample space to honor donors over time.

Every year tiles are removed to bring more light into the space. The tiles, themselves art objects, are reimagined as gifts to the individual donors as enduring tokens of gratitude and connection to the School of Human Ecology.

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woman holding wooden plaque for donor recognition
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