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Best Practice

Stewardship 101: The Basics

Stewarding Donors
| 5 minutes to read
Last Updated: 08-27-2021


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

Best Practices

Keep these principles in mind as you start:

  • Please coordinate stewardship activities with your dean’s/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.
  • 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 (e.g., 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.

Definitions and How-Tos