Major Gift Donor Stewardship

Major Gift Donor Stewardship:

A Comprehensive Guide to the Art

Nick Fitz
July 20, 2023
5 min read
Full name
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Introduction

In nonprofit fundraising, major gifts are the game-changers. They fund big projects. They boost budgets. They provide financial stability.

But securing them? It's not just about making a compelling ask. It's about stewardship that is effective, thoughtful and strategic.

Dive into this guide and master the art of major gift donor stewardship.

The Art of Major Gift Donor Stewardship

Stewardship is about relationships. Building them, maintaining them and recognizing contributions. Making donors feel valued.

Effective stewardship is crucial for securing major gifts. Here's why:

Donor Retention

Appreciated donors are loyal donors. Show gratitude. Demonstrate impact. They'll continue to support your cause.

The annual average donor retention rate is around 45%. But 70% of all first-time donors to a nonprofit organization will not make a second gift according to Nonprofit Pro.

Effective stewardship is key in retaining donors.

The annual average donor retention rate is around 45%. But 70% of all first-time donors to a nonprofit organization will not make a second gift.

Donor Upgrading

Good stewardship inspires donors to give more. Over five years, major gifts of more than $1,000 grew to 85% of the revenue at the average nonprofit according to 360 MatchPro.

Keep donors engaged. Show them the difference they make. They'll increase their giving.

Over five years, major gifts of more than $1,000 grew to 85% of the revenue at the average nonprofit.

Referrals

Satisfied donors can introduce you to their networks. Provide a positive giving experience and your donors become advocates.

Two hands reaching towards each other, symbolizing the connection and mutual respect in major gift donor stewardship.
Embrace the art of stewardship. Reach out, connect, and cultivate lasting relationships with your major donors.

Strategies for Effective Major Gift Donor Stewardship

How do you steward your major gift donors effectively? Here are some strategies:

Personalize Your Communication

Make donors feel special. Tailor your communication to their interests and their reasons for giving. Their connection to your cause.

Emphasize gratitude in every interaction and make major donors feel like partners.

Provide Regular Updates

Keep your donors informed. Share stories. Photos. Updates.

Email communications sent on a regular basis are most likely to encourage repeat donations from donors, 48% of donors say that regular email communications are most likely to keep them engaged according to 360 MatchPro.

Show them how their contributions make a difference. Update them on how you use their donations. Encourage them to give throughout the year.

Email communications sent on a regular basis are most likely to encourage repeat donations from donors, 48% of donors say that regular email communications are most likely to keep them engaged.

Recognize Their Contributions

Recognition can be a simple thank you note. Or public acknowledgment at an event.

Match the level of recognition with the donor's preferences. Employ emotion and emphasize your relationships with donors before, during, and after each gift is made.

Conclusion

Major gift donor stewardship is both an art and a science. It requires understanding your donors, a strategic approach, and genuine appreciation.

Implement these strategies, build strong relationships with your major donors, secure more major gifts, and ensure the financial health of your organization.

Remember, stewardship is not a one-time event, but a continuous process. It's about building long-term relationships based on mutual respect and shared goals.

With effective stewardship, you can not only secure major gifts but also create a community of supporters who are deeply invested in your organization's success.

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