Donor Stewardship Tips

What is Donor Stewardship?

Donor Stewardship is about effectively caring for your donors in a way that allows you to foster long-term relationships with them that are beneficial to everyone involved. This means conveying how much you really appreciate each donor’s contribution to your organization and how much you care about them as members of your community.

Following an effective stewardship plan can help you to create strong personal connections between your donors and your mision, transitioning them from supporters to integral members of your organization.

#iGiveCatholic Donor Stewardship Tips

Donor Stewardship begins before you receive your first donations on #iGiveCatholic! When you are first building out your #iGiveCatholic profile you should start to think about how you can use the information you provide to foster future Donor Stewardship efforts. Work on utilizing your story, donation levels, and Peer-to-Peer fundraising to foster a greater sense of connection and relationship-building with your supporters!
If you are already working to engage your board in your #iGiveCatholic efforts, then you should also utilize them in your stewardship goals! If you have rallied your Board members to be peer-to-peer fundraisers for #iGiveCatholic, they should also be engaged in thanking those donors who contributed to their individual campaigns! Share our Donor Stewardship resources with your Board members at your next meeting or host a get together specifically for writing thank you notes or making thank you calls!

Showing genuine, timely, and regular donor appreciation is a huge part of maintaining strong relationships with your supporters! #iGiveCatholic will email an immediate tax receipt to the donor acknowledging their donation. However, a tax receipt from #iGiveCatholic is not as meaningful as a thank you from the benefiting ministry! Hand-written thank you notes and thank-you calls can be so impactful and everlasting. Consider inviting your students or other service recipients to write notes or make calls, connecting donors with your mission!

You may also consider a mail-merged letter from your donor report.  This communication should include your donor’s name, donation amount and other personalized features about your project or goal. Tell them how their gift is changing or improving the services you provide as a nonprofit. If possible, show them the impact their gift is making with concrete images or stories. Plan to send out these personalized letters in mid-December after the official close of #iGiveCatholic so you can be sure to include late, offline gifts that arrive after GivingTuesday!

Donor Stewardship and the gratitude that you show for your donors does not begin and end with #iGiveCatholic. Rather, it is about starting a dialogue with your donors that makes them feel as though they are a concrete part of your organization and community. You can start this dialogue by asking your donors how they prefer to be contacted (phone, email, text message, etc.) and then proceed to contact them in that way. Showing initial respect for their preferences will go a long way. Ask your donors for feedback and be a responsive and active listener by monitoring your social channels and emails to keep track of popular suggestions. Make sure you follow up with your donors and inform them of how you are using their feedback to move your organization forward.

After #iGiveCatholic schedule regular touch points on your annual calendar to ensure that you are staying constantly engaged with your donors.

  • Make it a point to share images and updates on projects that your donors’ contributions are directly helping to fund. These project updates should be shared in your newsletters or bulletins and social media. Don't forget to tag @iGiveCatholic so we can celebrate the impact generosity is having on your mission!
  • Organize reminders to reach out to your supporters on special dates like anniversaries, birthdays, or major milestones for your organization.

Have your donors asked you about the fees incurred with online donations? Do you need some help explaining them?

CLICK HERE for a helpful infographic explaining the costs associated with online fundraising through #iGiveCatholic.