The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

6 Ways to Improve Donor Stewardship

6 Ways to Improve Donor Stewardship

Implementing a donor stewardship program takes time. Thoughtful communications, meaningful programs, and engaging events require resources. If you have a small team, you may be wondering how you’ll make all of this happen. After all, your team already has enough on their plates.

A donor management system (DMS) is a tool that can dramatically reduce the time and effort required to run a stewardship program, giving even small teams the ability to implement effective plans. Here are six specific ways you can use a DMS for donor stewardship.

1) Keep Robust Contact Profiles

You can make your donors feel more valued by customizing the communications you send to them. For example, instead of sending the same email to all your donors, create different versions based on specific details about your donors. In your DMS, keep robust contact profiles with details on donors’ interests, giving history, and other important information that you can refer back to when needed.

2) Segment Donors

Making communications relevant to your donors’ interests and targeted to their specific giving profiles will boost engagement. Use the details saved in your donor profiles in your DMS to segment donors based on interests, giving level, and other factors. Send communications that are specifically targeted to each donor. For example, you may send different versions of update emails that focus on different projects, based on your donors’ individual interests. You could also send a series of communications with different asks based on donors’ past gifts.

3) Track Donations

Every donation should be recognized. In the midst of busy days and hectic schedules, it’s easy to overlook a thank you letter or a follow-up contact. A DMS provides an automated way to track donations and ensure that correlating communications are sent at the appropriate times. Set reminders to follow up with a phone call or complete other tasks in your DMS’s task management interface. When your DMS is set up to manage your stewardship program, you won’t have to worry about things slipping through the cracks.

4) Generate, Send, and Track Email and Direct Mail

Network for Good’s DMS allows you to create, send, and track communications directly within the tool, so you don’t have to deal with trying to integrate multiple different systems. By running everything through your DMS, you can also more easily measure the results of campaigns so you know what’s working and what can be improved. Use your DMS for all types of communications—campaign updates, sharing plans for project next steps, and promoting impact stories of people who have been helped by donors’ gifts.

5) Create Surveys

Gaining feedback from donors is an essential part of optimizing your stewardship program. If you want to know what resonates with donors, what they like, what they’re looking for, and new ideas, just ask! A good DMS will allow you to create surveys with customized questions and track results.

6) Generate Reports

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Reports give you the ability to see valuable information at a glance so you can use your data to improve your stewardship program. You can also run reports to see information about donors so you know who should be invited to which events for optimal engagement.

Using a DMS that’s tailored to your organization’s needs will help you deepen relationships, boost engagement, improve efficiency, and increase fundraising—all without the need for a large team. Think of a DMS as an extra staff member who is incredibly productive and working all hours of the day. You’ll be amazed with the amount of work that a good DMS can handle.

Download How to Create a Donor Stewardship Program to Boost Retention to learn more about how to use stewardship to grow donor relationships.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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