12 Steps to Better Donor Stewardship

So you want to steward your donors? Well, spring is the perfect time to do it. The weather’s getting nicer and so are people’s moods. Giving makes people happy—and happy people give more.

Since a primary goal of stewardship is to create lifelong donors and generate more funding through deeper relationships, you’ll want to use your resources wisely. We know you want to steward every donor. That’s both admirable and a great goal. Take it one step at a time. Set your program up for success by breaking down your donor segments. You may start with stewarding new donors so they become regular donors. Then phase in stewarding different levels, since each segment will require a different approach.

The good news is, because of today’s digital communications tools and technological advances, stewarding the modern donor is easier than ever. Use this 12-step checklist to identify which donors to target; plan out your approach and integrated messaging; and create a mission-driven, donor-centric stewardship program.

12 Donor Stewardship Steps

  1. Identify the types of donors or levels of gifts that you’ll build your program around.
  2. Brainstorm the communications and experiences each donor type should receive.
  3. Get feedback from donors on what they value and what resonates with them.
  4. Cull your list and prioritize ideas.
  5. Create a written plan detailing what you decided.
  6. Build a timeline that outlines when each communication and experience for each donor type or gift level should occur.
  7. Decide who in your organization will be responsible for each task.
  8. Ensure each team member is allocated the tools and time to give their tasks the attention they deserve.
  9. Think more about quality than quantity of communications.
  10. Always be connecting with your mission.
  11. Keep your focus on stewardship, not solicitation.
  12. Take advantage of technology.

Want to know more about stewarding your donors this spring? Download our How to Create a Donor Stewardship Program to Boost Retention guide and start brainstorming with your team.

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