Stewardship is much more than saying “Thank You” it is really about a continuous process to make the investor feel acknowledged and engaged with your organization. Stewardship comes after “the ask” and after the gift is received. The challenge is to learn about your investors to know what they want and then exceed their expectations, How do you accomplish that feat? As always any investor should be thanked with in a maximum of 72 hours, but for a new investor that gives a major gift for the first time, they should be thanked within 48 hours.
Be sure that your “insider newsletter” is sent to your new investor. This sends a message that he/she is important to your organization right upfront. As you build your relationship, be sure to obtain birthdays, anniversaries, names of children and grandchildren and other highlights in your investors life or business. Dig deep when you are are learning about your investor. The more you know the more you can satisfy his/her request or questions, Remember hand-written note sends the message that you care.
Stewardship is all about creating venues for connecting and involving the investor to learn more about you as their conduit in your organization and the opportunities you create for them to learn more the attributes of your organization. Creating an environment that will introduce your new investor to more seasoned contributors who can give them a different kind of introduction to the impact your organization has in it’s field of expertize. Be sure that you have vetted this group to have several common interests as the new investor. As your investor feels included in special events that are just for major or principle gifts investors, there is an unspoken understanding, that their next gift may be larger and that they will likely become ambassadors for your organization.
Think about how often do you want to call them to either invite them to an event or just to say hello? How often do you take them to lunch or drop by to see them? Every touch is not about “the ask”; it is about a mutual understanding of who and what you investor wants and needs. Your ultimate goal is to get a second gift that is larger than the first one. This new gift is often more than doubled the size of the first gift.
Take the time to send me your thoughts about creating a stewardship plan. I would be delighted to review it and give you comments. More information to come next week!