What does ‘good stewardship’ mean to your organization?
For some nonprofits, stewardship simply means remembering to thank donors when they donate their time and/or money—immediately before the organization solicits donors for more time and/or money. This reactionary stewardship model defines stewardship as what an organization does for a donor after they’ve made a gift.
In the past decade there has been a gradual shift from reactionary to proactive stewardship. Organizations conducting proactive stewardship balance donor services and donor solicitation, so the donor has a clear understanding of the organization’s value prior to receiving a donation solicitation.
In addition, these organizations describe the purpose for which they are requesting funds or volunteer hours, so donors know how their gift will be leveraged. Proactive stewardship is an investment in the next gift, with the goal of motivating the donor to continue giving and increase their commitment over time.
If you’re using Greater Giving’s Event Software you can access detailed information on the different types of sales, payments, and donations for each supporter—so you’ll be able to send a very specific ‘thank you’ after a fundraising event, and ascertain their giving status as you engage with them throughout the rest of the year.
Once you’re ready to reach out to your donors, Event Software makes it easy. You can edit pre-existing templates or build customizable emails and letters which pull donor items, purchases, donations, sponsorship, staffing, payment, salutation and committee information from your supporter’s records.
There are three requirements which donors typically expect as a result of giving their valuable time and/or money:
- A prompt and personalized thank you for their donation.
- Confirmation of how their donation has been put to work.
- Measurable results on their donation at work before being asked for another gift.
Notice all three requirements involve communication with donors. Organizations practicing proactive stewardship make sure that every communication is personalized, efficient, and unique.
Memorable communication will make subsequent donation requests more effective. So, make sure you have a process in place to view your donors’ giving status and communicate with them quickly and appropriately.
If you don’t have fundraising software or a donor management system that can report and personalize the information you are looking for, some elbow grease will help you data mine and deliver a heartfelt and personal message.
Create a spreadsheet of donor names, physical and email addresses along with notes about giving. Use this master list to send thank you’s and make the impact of the donation real with a photo of what their gift looks like in action.
With an effective stewardship program, nonprofit organizations can decrease donor attrition and increase fundraising revenues—so remember to keep on what your donors are giving and communicate your gratitude to them throughout the year.