GuideStar Blog

Show Me the Love: Creative Ways to Steward Your Donors

As development professionals, we often find ourselves laser-focused on closing gifts to reach our revenue goals. On average, gift officers spend more than three-quarters of their time identifying, cultivating, and soliciting new leads. While it is important to focus on actions that drive revenue, stewarding donors once the gift is secured helps maintain a strong and active donor pool.

It is important to show donors just how special, valued, and appreciated they are. Investing in stewardship techniques and developing strong relationships has been proven to lead to more frequent and larger gifts. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share some ways to show your donors the love. From basic best practices to customized approaches, below are some tips to activate your donor base and maximize revenue through stewardship.


Retain More Online Donors with These 5 Fundraising Strategies

Online fundraising has become one of the most prominent trends in the nonprofit world. As Millennial and Gen Z donors make up a larger percentage of donors, nonprofits have found that they need to adjust their fundraising strategies to be more accommodating to this new audience.


Nonprofit Tech Solutions: A Guide to Ramping Up Donations

The new year (calendar or fiscal) typically comes with increased funding goals. However, this doesn’t always have to cause stress! Higher goals should boost your own confidence in your organization because it shows that you are passionate enough about your mission to want to grow.


Grateful Givers: A Lesson from Dad

Seasons Greetings, Gratitude, and Greatness

I don’t ease into personal stories well.  This one, however, resonates at the time of year where we seem to have too much stuff … and too little gratitude. Also, this message is timely since we are all constantly looking to create a greater and more meaningful donation experience for our givers.


Learn Three Things from America’s Favorite Charities

A thousand donors were asked by Grey Matter Research to name their very favorite nonprofit. More than half of them named the same 20 organizations, and the top 5 favorites collected votes from more than one-third of all donors. With an average total income of $1.1 billion, America’s favorite 289 nonprofits are massive national and global operations.


See What Thanking Donors Can Do for Your Fundraising

So often, our fundraising tests look too narrowly at something we do. Here's a test that didn't fall into that habit. You can read it in a great study by the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, Learning to Say Thank You (downloadable PDF).


Showing Gratitude to Donors

Expressing regular and authentic gratitude to the donors, volunteers (including board members), and others who support your organization’s mission is one of the most important things you can do.


Understanding Your Donors Is Crucial to Keeping Them

Understanding how donors feel about your organization and what role they want you to play in their lives is the starting point for your keeping them for years.

The key question you must answer is the one that resides subconsciously in every donor’s mind: How does this organization best enable me to make the difference I want to make?

How to uncover the answer to that question, and what resources you’ll need to do so, is the subject of my book, Retention Fundraising. Here I’ll focus on why answering the question is a bit trickier than you might imagine.


Is Your Year-End Fundraising a Sprint or Part of the Long Game?

As a fundraiser, I’m keenly sensitive to how I act and am treated as a donor. I’ve shared before how last December, I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting. 


The Formula for Sustainable Fundraising

It’s October, which means that year-end fundraising is looming on the horizon. Year-end campaigns are a ton of work! When you’re planning a year-end campaign, you want to know that it’s going to be effective and that you’re going to hit your fundraising goals. But what happens after you reach your goals? Will your campaign be able to sustain you after the new year?