Donor Stewardship Tips

What is Donor Stewardship?

Donor Stewardship is all about effectively caring for your supporters in a way that allows you to create long-term relationships that are beneficial to everyone involved! Your stewardship efforts will allow your organization to remain top-of-mind for your supporters, helping you cultivate repeat gifts. You’ll also be the first choice for supporters to make their next gift if they feel it’s an unrequited relationship! Your donors should feel that they’re getting just as much or more out of their relationship with you and feel valued for their contributions.

Effective stewardship is often described as both an art and a science because it requires creativity and planning in order to develop a successful donor relationship. Achieving the right balance takes 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!

Post-Give for Good Louisville Donor Stewardship Tips

Donor stewardship begins before you receive your first donations on Give for Good Louisville! When you are first building out your Give for Good Louisville profile you should start to think about how you can use the information you provide to foster future stewardship efforts. Develop your communications plan using our Communications Guide, determine your donation levels, and recruit your peer-to-peer fundraisers to foster a greater sense of connection and relationship-building with your supporters!
If you are already working to engage your board in your Give for Good Louisville efforts, then you should also utilize them in your stewardship goals! If you have rallied your Board members to be peer-to-peer fundraisers for Give for Good Louisville, they should also be engaged in thanking those donors who contributed to their individual campaigns! Share our email templates, social media copies, and giving day graphics with your Board members at your next meeting or host a get together specifically targeted to training your Board in the wonderful ways of donor stewardship!

Showing genuine, timely, and regular donor appreciation is a huge part of maintaining strong relationships with your supporters! A “thank you” message following a donation for Give for Good Louisville should be your standard practices. On your Give for Good Louisville profile editor, you will be able to create a custom “Thank You” message during your Give for Good Louisville profile completion process. However, the gratitude should not stop there! Hand-written thank you's and thank you calls can be even more impactful and everlasting! In addition to the standardized thank you message that is included with your donor’s online donation receipt, consider sending out a more personalized message one to two weeks after Give for Good Louisville.

This email should include your donor’s name and other personalized features. Tell them how their gift is changing or improving the services you provide as a nonprofit. If possible, show them the impact their gift is making with concrete images or stories. Learn how to create a compelling thank you email here.

Donor stewardship and the gratitude that you show for your donors does not begin and end with Give for Good Louisville. Rather, it is about starting a dialogue with your donors that makes them feel as though they are a concrete part of your organization and community.

You can start this dialogue by asking your donors how they prefer to be contacted (phone, email, text message, etc.) and then proceed to contact them in that way. Showing initial respect for their preferences will go a long way.

Keep the dialogue going with creative ways to show continued and sustainable gratitude throughout the year.

Ask your donors for feedback and be a responsive and active listener by monitoring your social channels and emails to keep track of popular suggestions. Make sure you follow up with your donors and inform them of how you are using your feedback to move forward.

After Give for Good Louisville schedule regular touch points on your annual calendar to ensure that you are staying constantly engaged with your donors.

  • Make it a point to share images and updates on projects that your donors’ contributions are directly helping to fund.
  • Organize reminders to reach out to your supporters on special dates, like anniversaries, birthdays, or major milestones for your organization.

Want to learn even more about donor stewardship? Check out our 8-Step Donor Stewardship Guide for Nonprofits here!