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Donor stewardship is something that most of us know is important, but for some reason, it always gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do list.
What ends up happening is when it comes time that you need your donors, you realize you haven’t talked to them in forever!
This is why donor stewardship is not a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have if you want consistent fundraising growth.
Today, Roxanne Tackie and Rochelle Greaves from Story Point Consulting share with us their expertise on what makes great stewardship and how you can leverage it to grow your fundraising.
Myths that Roxanne and Rochelle want us to leave behind
Stewardship is a lot of work. Great and consistent stewardship can save you work from stressing over how to get donors and make asks.
We need to constantly find new donors. Instead of constantly feeling pressured to find new donors, fish in your own pond. Your existing donor base is the best place to start deepening relationships and engagement.
We need big data to observe donor behaviour. You don’t need a fancy database or meticulous dataset to understand your donors. Even if your donor data is sitting in a spreadsheet, look for important indicators such as how often donors give and what their gift size.
Roxanne and Rochelle’s on leveraging donor stewardship to grow your fundraising
Your volunteers are great potential donors. Overcome the fear of asking your volunteers to give. They already have invested interest in the organization. A lot of times, they’re just waiting for an opportunity to give.
Equip your board or fundraising committee with great stories. A lot of organizations struggle with mobilizing the board or volunteer fundraising committees to do fundraising. The first step is to equip the board members and committee members with great personal stories and experience they have with the organization so that they can paint a compelling picture of why others should support the organization too.
Be personal in your communication. Connect with your donors authentically with your own voice. Put away template letters with ultra-professional and corporate tone.
Tailor recognition to your donor’s needs. Everyone wants to be recognized or not recognized according to their needs. Listen to your donors' needs and provide the thank you and recognition in the way that suits them.
My favourite quotes from this episode
Post your favourite quote on social to share with us!
“We really don’t want donors to only hear from us when we’re asking for money. If we’ve been communicating to our donors, celebrating our successes with them, and letting them know how the programs are going, by the time we ask them, they should already be aware of where you’re going. Now you’re setting up a situation where your donors are ready to talk about the support you need.” - Roxanne
“Once you look at your donor database, you can really see which donors are really engaged. Look at things like: how often are they donating? How long have they donated? Do they volunteer with your organizations? Once you learn who are the most engaged donors, you can start develop plans for stewarding these donors, and maybe eventually move them up to become major donors at your organizations” - Rochelle
Resources from this Episode