Donor stewardship is about effectively caring for your donors in a way that allows you to foster long-term relationships with them that are beneficial to everyone involved.  

Instead of a one-way street where your nonprofit is strictly on the receiving end, your donors should feel that they’re getting just as much or more out of their relationship with you.

Effective stewardship is often described as both an art and a science because it requires a synchronistic union of creativity and planning in order to be successful.  

This creativity and planning will take time but will be well-worth the effort in the long run when you’ve established a healthy database of happy and loyal supporters for your organization.    

8 Step Donor Stewardship Program

We’ve created a simple and effective guide to donor stewardship that includes the following steps: 

1. Develop and Adhere to a Philosophy of Stewardship

  • Define what stewardship means to your nonprofit
  • Put it into practice
  • Acts of Stewardship to Follow

2. Organize Your Donor Database

  • Segmenting your donors
  • Collecting contact and other information
  • Devise donor engagement strategy

BONUS:  Check out the Ultimate Donor Management System for Nonprofits

3. Create a Stewardship Budget

  • How much can you afford to spend on stewardship?
  • Do a cost-benefit analysis

4. Establish Goals

  • What specific metrics do you want to see as a result of implementing stewardship?

5. Rally your Stewardship Team

  • Recruit your best people for the job
  • Who will best represent your organization?

6. Develop a Communication Plan

  • Have general guidelines for how donor stewardship will be carried out in all communications

7. Begin Stewarding!

  • Infuse stewardship into all aspects of donor engagement
  • Make sure you’re incorporating it into your online fundraising practices, too

8. Measure and Adapt to Results

  • Measure improvements or lack of improvements
  • Make adjustments where necessary
  • Reassess your cost-benefit outcomes

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Donor Stewardship

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