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Stewardship That Boosts Revenue For Family Promise Affiliates

This donor stewardship guide will help you craft better, more meaningful relationships with donors.
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You know thanking donors is the right thing to do. But then the million things on your task list come creeping in to crush your good intentions.

How are you supposed to find the time to do outstanding stewardship when …

  • You’ve got an appeal to get out the door.
  • You have a newsletter to write. ✏️
  • You’ve got a full week of meetings that could be emails instead.
  • You have a board meeting tonight to prepare for.

I can’t make all the demands on your time go away. But I can show you that stewardship is a revenue center, not a cost center, and give you easy-to-implement, time-saving ways to boost your donors’ giving.

First, the proof.

As Tom Ahern explains in What Your Donors Want and Why, first-time donors who receive a personal thank you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. (Yes, you read that right—thanking in 48 hours equals a 400% improvement in renewal rates!)

In 2017, Leah Eustace confirmed this phenomenon: “A one-minute thank-you call to new donors increased conversion by over 30%.”

Need more convincing? In Penelope Burk’s 2021 Donor Survey of 20,000 US donors, 75% said the number one piece of content that influences whether they’ll give again is hearing the results achieved by their gift.

Ready for some affordable, easy-to-implement strategies to use at your Family Promise Affiliate?

The fastest way is to craft your own stewardship plan. To get started, you can grab this sample template.

The three most important things you need in a stewardship plan are to:

  1. Arrange NOT by gift amount but by the donor’s identity (like first-time donor, monthly donor, or planned gift donor) or longevity (like first-time donor, monthly donor, or donor who has given three or more gifts).
  2. Designate an owner for each stewardship touchpoint, for example, Development Director or CEO.
  3. Specify the type of communication and when it occurs, for example, “First-time donor welcome call from Development Director within five days of gift.”

Now that you have a template and the most important things to get started, here are five strategies, tips, and tools to help you soar:

  1. Write donor-centered emotional copy that celebrates your donor’s generosity and good works. Take advantage of the free Bloomerang donor communications audit tool to help. Remember, the donor gets the credit, and you get the gift!
  2. Set aside time to work on your plan each day or week by blocking a one-hour “stewardship power hour” on your calendar to make donor thank-you calls or video emails, or to write thank-you emails, letters, or cards.
  3. Prepare as many materials as you can in advance, like thank-you cards written by clients, students, or parents.
  4. Include touches to learn more about your donors, like a short three-question first-time donor survey or a longer supporter connection survey for loyal donors.
  5. Consider video email, which lets you send personal, heartfelt messages straight from your webcam and inbox. Bomb Bomb, Gratavid, and CauseVid are just a few video email vendors. To streamline video email creation, Gratavid offers seamless integration with Bloomerang.

Hungry for more stewardship ideas? Grab my guide, “23 Ways to Delight Donors.”

In the words of my friend and author Brock Turner, CFRE at Broccoli, “Humans never tire of honest, heartfelt gratitude. The opportunity to surprise and delight donors simply by saying thank you is present more than you think.”

Time to get out there and love on those donors!

Have a stewardship strategy for Family Promise Affiliates that you want to share? Drop it in the comments below! 

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