Donor stewardship is how you can manage and care for donors in order to build lasting relationships and improve donor retention. Keeping donors coming back leads to increased donations over time!
Stewardship can be easy, but it requires effort and planning. A successful stewardship plan includes various types of outreach to let donors know that you value their support and to encourage them to remain engaged with your work. Emails are a good way to remain in passive communication, while the occasional phone call can reinforce a strong relationship. We’ve also created a 1:1 Prospect Meeting guide which has additional tips on relationship building!
An easy way to approach stewardship is to split it into two phases:
- Acknowledgement of gift
- Relationship building
Acknowledgement of Gift
This first part of stewardship is easy: saying thank you. Depending on the size of the gift and your group’s capacity, this can be an email, handwritten letter, or phone call. Although ActBlue automatically sends a standard acknowledgement email for each donation, we encourage additional personalized outreach to start building a relationship with the donor.
The sample stewardship matrix below illustrates gift acknowledgement tactics within various donor tiers. You should customize these tiers based on the levels of donation that are typical for your group.