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How a Stewardship Plan Helps Your Donors Feel the Love

Your donors believe in you. They believe in your mission, and they want you to know that your vision for solving the critical needs in your community is something they deeply value. They are your greatest fans! They are also human beings who like to feel appreciated and involved. Your care, your stewardship of these donors will help them 'feel the love.'

Stewardship is a systematically persistent process that helps donors feel like you care about them as people and about what is important to them. I say ‘systematically persistent process’ because that is what it will seem like from your end, though it will feel quite different for your donors. What can this process look like? Let’s look at four specific ways to develop a stewardship plan:

First, you need a platform: keep your donors current with what’s happening within your organization and how you are advancing your cause. You will want some sort of platform where donors may routinely visit from their email inboxes or social media accounts, such as, an enewsletter, a podcast or a blog. From there you will be able to share how you are carrying out your vision. By the way, don’t worry about having to use several platforms. Find where your audience tends to ‘hang out’ and use the platform they use.

Second, interview your key donors: find those committed donors who already champion your cause and interview them. Publish their story using your main communication platform. Again, this might be in video, audio, or written form. These testimonies will serve as inspiration to motivate other donors to get more involved.

Third, build your legacy community: work with your champion donors to create an exciting and dynamic legacy community. Empower these donors to volunteer their time to help lead with you and develop an actionable plan to get others involved. The work you put into building has the potential to be both exciting and highly rewarding.

Finally, give lots of recognition: celebrate often and treat your donors like the royalty they are. Personal attention, heart-felt ‘thank you’ cards, celebration of your donors’ key life events (anniversaries, birthdays, grandchildren highlights, retirement, etc). Ongoing celebration is key, but it will require an intentional stewardship plan on your end.

A systematically persistent process should include a well-defined stewardship plan. By developing a stewardship plan where you persist at building into your champion donors, your larger donor base will feel inspired, motivated to get more involved and they will definitely feel the love.

Andy Ragone

By Andy Ragone
Integrated Marketing - West Region, Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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