Digitizing the Donor Experience
Digitizing the Donor Experience: Exploring the Use of Digital Collections to Build a New Culture of Philanthropy in the Museum Sector
Presented to Smithsonian staff members as a presentation by Romilly Beard, Fellow in Museum Practice (2019). The project explored the following questions:
- How can we increase impact by using digital museum objects to connect with peoples' stories?
- With limited resources, how should you prioritize what objects get digitized?
- How can digitized objects affect levels of donors' giving?
- How can smaller regional museums leverage digitized resources to affect geographic impact?
- How can organizations partner with other museums, and their digital objects, to complement a collection and tell a broader story?
| ABSTRACT | "There is increasing recognition and evidence that donor behaviour is starting to shift to increased use of online donations through crowdfunding and digital platforms. With younger philanthropists now fluent in digital communication, this channel of engagement will need to be utilised more frequently and effectively by the museum sector in the future. In the fundraising space there is a growing body of work on digital fundraising in the wider charitable sector. While in the museum sector there is a focus on digitizing collections for reasons of collection management, preservation and access. This research project examined digitized collections through a fundraising lens: highlighting the use of digital collections to personalize a donor experience as well as increase donor reach. A review of relevant literature and access to digital resources held by the Smithsonian Learning Lab provided a background to the project." - Romilly Beard, Fellowship Proposal, 2018