Stewardship 101 — The Basics

Thanking, recognizing, and celebrating our donors is an essential part of stewardship for our institution. As private support increasingly becomes important to supporting what we do, here are a few baseline stewardship samples and policies to get you started.

Best Practices

Keep these principles in mind as you start:

  • Please coordinate stewardship activities in collaboration with your Dean/Director’s office and your WFAA colleagues. Make sure to coordinate any conversations or communications to donors with all involved stakeholders.
  • Stewardship should be personalized and thoughtful
  • Make sure it remains true to the donor’s intent
  • Balance the time you spend recognizing the gift with the time you spend asking for and accepting the gift.
  • Stewardship should include opportunities for the donor and beneficiary to interact
  • Recognize that donors want early access to information and to be in-the-know. Share information with donors that is related to the impact of their gifts (i.e., if they endow a center, be sure to inform the donor when new personnel are hired within the center)
  • Include families in the recognition whenever appropriate