Stewardship occurs after a gift is received. Stewardship activities range from thank you letters to updating donors through impact reporting.
Specific activities include:
- Receipting: Every donor receives a receipt for their gift. WFAA manages the receipting process of all gifts.
- Acknowledgment: Prompt and meaningful acknowledgments are essential to effective donor relations and long-term donor retention. Acknowledgement practices should be coordinated between WFAA development staff and campus partners.
Expectations for Collaboration:
The important work of donor relations and stewardship is best carried out when WFAA and campus development staff communicate openly and work hand in hand to fulfill donors’ needs. Here are some expectations to make collaborative stewardship efforts a success:
- Contact WFAA for assistance with your stewardship efforts
- Be knowledgeable about WFAA’s guidelines and reviews for stewardship practices and regulations
- Be open to multi-channel solutions to increase successful opportunities
- Allow to lend key voices, like the dean or department chair, to support and appeal to donors
This guide reviews the basics of stewardship and provides tools to get you started with your stewardship efforts.
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.
- Work towards acknowledging all donors to your area’s funds on a monthly basis.
- Add your gift acknowledgements back into ABE.
- Utilize word templates to streamline your process.
- Use donor-centric language in your acknowledgement letters.
- Example Language: Our department is preparing students for the future.
- Suggested Language: Your gift provides students with the tools and skills to thrive after graduation.
- Keep donors informed about the ways their gifts have an impact, by sending newsletters, updates, or other communications that highlight giving.
New to donor relations at UW-Madison? Register for upcoming training sessions in partnership with WFAA to learn about stewardship, how to collaborate with WFAA, and more.
View and register for relevant trainings provided by WFAA around the use of our tools and advancement best practices.