5 ways to Improve your Donor Stewardship

January 20, 2017 - 4 minutes read

A lot of non-profits and advocacy organisations spend time and effort in prospecting for new donors. While this is very important aspect to fundraising, they often overlook their current donors. An existing donor is a valuable supporter of your organisation. That relationship with them needs to be built and cultivated to keep your fundraising efforts successful. This is called stewarding a donor.

Why steward a donor?

We sometimes forget that Donors are people too. They are people invested in your institute and who already believe in the same things you do. But being people, they need to be reminded of the work done by your organisation and the issues you are trying to resolve. What are the best ways of building this relationship? How do you keep in contact with your donor without putting them off?

how to improve donor stewardship

Doing stewardship the right way

Stay in touch

Fundraising tends to be a cyclical effort usually peaking around holiday seasons when donors are in more of a giving mood. What tends to happen is that donors feel overwhelmed with all the other organisations that require their attention. Instead, you need to constantly stay in touch with them throughout the year. Not just by sending them newsletters and updates but instead by having conversations. Call your donors regularly and talk to them about the progress at your organisation.

Listen to them

A conversation is only meaningful if both involved participate. Talking to a donor about your organisation without taking into account any previous conversations you’ve had will make that call redundant. Donors will begin to get tired of these calls and resent them. Take notes during these calls and preserve them for continuity. Unlike email, Calling is an active way of reaching out to someone, unfortunately, it can also be intrusive. Ask your donors about the best times to reach them and remember these times. Do not call them on days and times when they would not like to be interrupted. Respect their space and you will always have a listening ear.

Track your conversations

To keep your conversations meaningful and have continuity, you need to be able to remember past conversations. Without, software this seems pretty impossible. Use CRMs like NationBuilder, CiviCRM and ActionNetwork to track conversations and progress. CallHub’s integration with these CRMs makes it easier call activity to be logged along with all questions answered by the donor. The next agent who talks to them will have the complete history of conversations with this donor available to them during the call.

Use a cloud call center

A cloud call center is perfect for donor stewardship. All your calls are tracked and history maintained. The data syncs with your CRM and important donor information is easily available during each call. CallHub’s analytics dashboard help you keep track of the frequency of calls you make to your donors and you can measure you call reach. A leaderboard will be effective in motivating your agents and volunteers, improving the quality of calls they make.

Don’t always ask for money

Donors are giving to your organisation because they believe in the work you do and have an emotional connection with the issue. Asking your donors only for money at every interaction can make them feel less involved. Instead, invite and encourage them to participate in local activities, fundraisers and volunteering opportunities. Asking donors to take part in a charity race or inviting them to discussions will make them more invested in your cause and will donate more each time.

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