Donor stewardship is a huge piece of our fundraising work in December. That’s of course on top of everything else that you’re already doing. One thing that can help is strategically thinking about your stewardship plan. By that I mean, rather than generally planning to thank anyone who donates, think about your segments of donors. Your organization might place more value on some segments and this will help you prioritize which to thank first.
Here are 5 segments to consider for stewardship.
#1 New donors
Stewarding new donors is often at the top of my list. Since it costs a lot to acquire them, I want to do everything in my power to retain them. That starts will a great thank you in the form of a thank you call or a hand written note.
#2 Current donors who gave again
This group of donors is loyal to your organization, but you don’t want to take their loyalty for granted.
#3 Major donors
Depending on what your role is at your organization or how many people are on your fundraising team, this one may or may not apply to you. If your organization is on the smaller side and there are not specific fundraising staff assigned to major donors, make sure that you, your executive director or your board chair personally thank major donors.
#4 New monthly donors
Similarly to #1, acquiring monthly donors can take a lot of resources. If you do get some during December, make sure to thank them well.
#5 Lapsed donors who renewed their support
On occasion, you may have lasped donors renew their support during a year-end fundraising driving. This includes donors whose last gift was more than 12 months ago. Once you have got them back as a current donor, spend some extra time thanking them so that they don’t lapse again.
This of course is not an exhaustive list of the donor segments you could thank, but I do hope this gives you some ideas for dividing and conquering your organization’s stewardship.