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Donor Stewardship: Top 10 Donor Stewardship Plans For Your Nonprofit

Donor Stewardship

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What Is Donor Stewardship?

The goal of donor stewardship is to build a stronger relationship with your donors. This process is designed for recurring donations, which is to inspire them to give again. It can help nonprofit organisations raise more money in the future. Developing a solid connection with existing donors is very important to maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them.

The goal of your stewardship program is to establish a strong relationship with the donors that will allow you to receive financial support for your fundraising mission. To build this relationship, most organisations adopt various practices such as regularly reporting on the effectiveness of their donations and providing opportunities for donors to get involved.

Donor stewardship

Start your own crowdfunding campaign and use the best donor stewardship methods to boost donations.

Why Create A Stewardship Plan? Impacts Of Donor Stewardship

Getting people and resources into an organisation is the first step in maintaining a steady flow of donations. It is essential that nonprofits should take the necessary measures to ensure that the organisation’s efforts are not wasted. This is because donor retention is crucial to ensure that the people who give are still serving the organisation for many years.

One of the most important factors that a nonprofit should consider when it comes to keeping its donors is the donation management system. Many organisations lose funds due to mismanagement and no post-fundraising strategies. This is why it is highly essential to have a multi-functional donor management system integrated into the organisation, and donor stewardship is one way to begin with.

It is always easy and more convenient to maintain an existing relationship than to create new ones. Similarly, donor retention is always a wise choice for nonprofit organisations while fundraising. Many major donors fail to give due to various factors such as poor communication, forgetting about their donations, or assuming that other organisations are more deserving of their support. If this is the case, it is important that the organisation thoroughly investigate the causes of the issue. Doing so will help improve the organisation’s retention rate and prevent it from going through the same issues in the future.


Donor Stewardship Plans

A good stewardship plan will help you track your donations and help you understand when you need to contact potential donors. Having a plan will allow you to make informed decisions and keep track of all of the activities that you’re involved in. If you’re planning on creating a new fundraising stewardship plan, it’s important that you have the necessary resources to make it work.

1. Align A Good Donor Stewardship Team

The foundation of a great team is its direction, and it should be clear and consistent with what it’s working toward. Without goals, teams can’t be inspired. Setting challenging goals can help keep the team motivated, but it can also lead to a feeling of discouragement.

A dedicated donor stewardship team is a key part of a successful donor stewardship program. The team must be aware of how to segment your donors and encourage donors to give to the cause. The team must craft a solid donor stewardship plan where they can understand their recurring donors as well as new donors in order to maintain their donor cultivation cycle.

2. Find Donors

Finding new donors is a tedious task but essential for any nonprofit organisation. The donor stewardship strategy is important for a mutually beneficial relationship between the organisation and the donors. As donor stewardship begins, nonprofits should not only just recognise donors but also should focus on creating an effective donor stewardship strategy to retain donors.

3. Integrate Donor Management Systems

Donation management software helps non-profit organisations and charities keep track of their donations and their fundraising activities. It also helps them improve their efficiency by allowing them to manage their relationships with their donors by evaluating their existing donor data.

It is very easy for non-profits to maintain their donor database by separating the information from the donations. With the help of donation management software, they can easily create and manage a comprehensive record of their donations through donor segmentation.

Donors tend to have a sense of appreciation for organisations that follow the donor recognition process. So having such kind of management system can be one of the best practices when it comes to donor stewardship.

4. Encourage Donors

Use most of your stewardship efforts to understand your donors and encourage donor groups to give more often. Make sure you tell them how much their donations matter and how many donors have made a difference to their organisation. 

Follow up with your donors after they make a donation and suggest that they consider having their contributions matched by their employer. This is a great way to keep intact your relationship and improve the donor retention rate.

5. Reward Donors

It should be a basic ethic of any organisation to reward their major donors for their donor loyalty. All the online donors should also get some kind of reward from the board members of organisations for a better donor retention rate. Giving your donors gifts is a very effective donor stewardship plan and can enhance the reputation of the nonprofit as well for their gesture.

6. Send Fundraising Updates

Donors have all the right to know where their money is being used and if those funds are making any difference or not. So as a basic donor stewardship process, fundraisers should notify their loyal donors as soon as their funds are used. If any fundraising campaign reaches its goal, the donors must know the impact of their gifts and that their efforts were not given in vain.

7. Take Donor Feedback

In order to strengthen relationships with donors, use donor-centric language while engaging. Never forget to take feedback to improve donor relations. Each and every valuable feedback has the ability to enhance the future donor stewardship approach of the organisations.

8. Invite For Recurring Donations

Have clear conversations with all your different donor groups and ask about their experiences. Invite donors to your website or to the organisation’s platform for new campaigns. Share your fundraising statistics with the donors to give them an idea of how much improvement you have been witnessing from previous periods.

This also works for first-time donors as they can also give more than once after they start.

9. Thank Donors In Words

It is wisely said by Maya Angelou that “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Even if you give your donors some rewards for their contribution, a handwritten note or a thank you letter can make a lot of difference in your relationship with your donors.

Always remember to thank your donors for everything they have selflessly done for you.

10. Evaluate The Plans

A good evaluation is very useful when it comes to important decisions and provides the necessary insight to make the right decisions. It’s also important to consider how your evaluation will be received by your various donor groups. For instance, some people may have different ideas about what criteria to consider when it comes to success.

Before you start working on your evaluation, make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This will allow you to make informed decisions and improve the quality of your donor stewardship process.

donor stewardship plan

What Is The Difference Between Donor Engagement And Donor Stewardship?

Although donor engagement and donor stewardship are terms that are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Donor engagement focuses on involving donors in the organisation’s mission and activities to deepen their connection and attract new supporters. Fundraising stewardship nurtures and retains existing donors through appreciation and personalised care to encourage ongoing giving.

Start With Your Donor Retention Plan

Donor cultivation and Donor retention are the two strong pillars of donor stewardship programs. Keeping these in mind, organisations should find top-rated crowdfunding platforms for their fundraising activities. 

One of Europe’s leading online fundraising platforms, WhyDonate, allows individuals and organisations to raise funds for various causes such as sports, the environment, and funerals. With over 450,000 registered donors, the platform is very affordable to use. Its user-friendly dashboard can help fundraisers keep track of their donations and ensure that they are getting the most out of their donations.

With the help of their custom content and branding, users can easily add their own message to various forms of fundraising and email campaigns. They can also track their activities through the platform’s mobile app and have a smooth donor stewardship process all through the year.

Answering Popular Donor Stewardship Related FAQs

Q. What are the goals of donor stewardship?

A. The goal of donor stewardship is to strengthen donor relationships. This process is designed for recurring donations, which is to inspire them to give again. It can help nonprofit organisations raise more money in the future.

Q. What are the two main types of stewardship?

A. The two main types of stewardship are environmental stewardship, which focuses on the responsible management of natural resources and the environment, and financial stewardship, which involves the responsible use and management of financial resources.

Q. What are the five stages of donor stewardship?

A. The five stages of donor stewardship are – 1. Identify your potential donors, 2. Segregation of donors, 3. building donor relationships using donor cultivation strategies, 4. Asking for donations by establishing proper communication strategies, 5. Execute donor stewardship by conducting donor retention plans.

Q. What is stewardship for recurring donors?

A. Fundraising stewardship for recurring donors involves recognising and appreciating their ongoing contributions, providing regular communication and impact updates, offering exclusive benefits and engagement opportunities, seeking donor feedback, implementing retention strategies, and focusing on long-term relationship building.


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Donation Crowdfunding Platform in Europe. WhyDonate is a global fundraising platform that connects causes with donors in an efficient, relevant and enjoyable way. We seek to create the best international fundraising platform in the world for individuals, NGOs and corporations. We do this by offering the latest fundraising features.

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