A donor recognition plan establishes a framework for donor recognition for a park or program, that everyone can understand and follow. The plan should establish guidelines for appropriate location, forms and categories of recognition for different levels of donors while allowing a measure of flexibility to meet donor interests. The plan helps park staff, fundraising partners and donors understand the means and levels of recognition that the NPS can provide within a park setting and off site. The plan should specifically prescribe the kinds of recognition for different levels of contributions.
Donor recognition plans are developed and approved concurrently at the park and program level and by the appropriate Regional or Associate Director. Regional Directors may establish recognition standards that apply to multiple parks within a region and Associate Directors may establish recognition standards that apply to multiple programs within a directorate.
Parks and programs that receive or are likely to receive donations and for all fundraising campaigns are required to have a donor recognition plan. While these plans will vary from park to park and program to program, there are several fundamental aspects that apply to all.
Parks and their partners should each have a donor recognition plan, although they can be combined into a shared plan. Partner donor recognition plans should complement a park or program plan with respect to the donor recognition allowed by NPS. This will ensure that a fundraising partner will not inadvertently lead a prospective donor to expect a level or type of recognition that the NPS cannot, or will not, fulfill.
Donor Recognition Plans should include:
- A statement of the basic philosophy of donor recognition opportunities consistent with park mission, purposes, and plans;
- Procedure for thanking different levels of donors;
- Hierarchy of donor levels and the appropriate recognition for each level;
- Forms and locations of in-park recognition consistent with Director's Order #21;
- Forms of recognition that are appropriate to provide at events and outside the park;
- Criteria for donor recognition boards, walls, plaques and displays in the park including the location, minimum thresholds for recognition and length of time the donor wall will be in place;
- Conditions under which donors/donations to partners will be recognized by NPS consistent with Director's Order #21.
For an example of a donor recognition plan, please view the USS Arizona Memorial Donor Recognition Plan.