Stewardship: What Comes After the For?



Best of DBD 2022 (1)

As the year comes to and end, we are highlighting our best posts and the nonprofit practices that we should all carry into the new year. 

A New Take on Stewardship

“Donors enjoy recognition but require information.”  This was a key finding from research done by Cygnus Applies Research on major donors in 2006. While many things change over time, this finding remains rock solid.

If you have spent any time with DBD, you are familiar with our belief that philanthropy is less about the dollars we are raising and more about the change we are making. Our work is to understand what a potential donor cares about and align that with the mission and purpose of our organization. Our focus on the donor’s passions, interests, and intentions should also be reinforced in the ways we continue to steward them.

Stewardship In Action

I recently received a letter from a charity my family supported. The message began: 

"Dear Jon & Maureen, Thank you for your generous donation of $xx to the [name of the organization] in support of our 2022 fund drive."  

While accurate and appropriate, this introduction did little to remind me of why I made the gift. Remember: donors enjoy recognition but require information. With that in mind, how about this. . .

Dear Jon & Maureen, Thank you for helping to ensure that every child in our community will begin the school year ready to learn, succeed and thrive.  This year, we were able to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to every student entering first grade. On behalf of our teachers, parents and students we thank you for your generous donation of $xx. This investment in the education of our children will pay dividends for years to come.

When acknowledging a donor, make sure you pay attention to what comes after the “for”. 

Stewardship is an important piece of donor retention. If you need to discuss how you can better communicate with your donors reach out for a complimentary consulting session.

nonprofit capital readinesss


Posted by Jon Simons
Jon Simons

Written by Jon Simons

In his role as Executive Vice President, Jon has oversight over product development and training for DBD Group. He, along with the rest of the leadership team, provides strategic direction and insight for the company. He plays a key role in welcoming new consultants and ensuring that they offer the same quality service and tools as the rest of the DBD team.

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