In fact, stewardship means different things to different people. There are some constants, however. One of the constants is that it’s not a one time a year exercise.
The other day, I had occasion to be in St. Louis on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and there it was, the Mississippi River, flowing steadily onward. It was the first time I’d seen it and when you realize how far it extends, you know that it is constant and fluid.
Here are some ways stewardship should flow through your fundraising organization:
Impact – It’s not about the money, but what the money does; in other words, the impact of their gifts.
Value – Think quid pro quo or this for that. Most donors don’t want anything for their donations, but sometimes something like a keepsake or discount opportunity can help.
Recognition – Identifying donors, both in print and online may give others the incentive to join the team. Woe is the development department that leaves a donor’s name off a list, right?
Acknowledgement – The best way to let donors know you have received their gift? Quickly!
Experience – How do donors feel after an encounter with your organization?
Reminders – Friendly reminders regarding pledge payments are not usually viewed as harassment. Think of them as gentle elbows to the gut (just kidding).