KAREN OSBORNE, President, The Osborne Group
You’re really busy. You’re making final calls, visits and appeals as you try to bring in as many end-of-the-year gifts as possible. Of course, you sent out holiday cards. There are often office parties to go to as well. Whew. I know it’s a lot but I have one more “must do” to add to your list.
Provide meaningful, personal, WOW stewardship to donors, volunteers and internal partners.
Stewardship is more than well wishes. It’s more than thank you. It is sharing the impact of ALL of the gifts of time, talent, treasure, and introductions your peers, volunteers and donors provided. It is connecting them directly to the mission in personal ways. And for those special people who gave so much of themselves, it is making them say, “Wow, I truly feel appreciated and valued above and beyond anything I expected.”
- Take a colleague out for coffee to let her know how much she contributed to the year’s outstanding results even though she is not a direct fundraiser.
- Give your CEO and chair of the board a list of donors to call to say, “Thank you again for (fill in specifics and tie it to outcomes and impact).”
- Interview a beneficiary and film it using your smartphone. Email it to a donor with a note that says, “You helped make this happen. Thank you again for all you do for the people we serve.”
Make a list of all of the “personal capital” (human, intellectual, expertise, networks and financial) a volunteer contributed down one side of a piece of paper, and then the difference that was made as a result on the other side. Drop by or call and share the wonderful list.
Remember to make your stewardship:
~ Meaningful to the donor, colleague or volunteer
~ And focused on IMPACT
Everyone feels good when they know that (a) they made and difference and (b) someone noticed.
Karen is the President of The Osborne Group, Inc., an international management and training consultancy focused on NGO capacity building; all aspects of fund development including campaign planning and implementation; opinion research including donor satisfaction surveys and feasibility studies; and organizational management including board development and strategic planning. Follow Karen on Twitter @kareneosborne. Visit www.theosbornegroup.com for free podcasts, blog posts, webinars, videos and tools.