Donor Stewardship: Three tips to inspire long-term donors

Our job at DonorSee is to equip you with the tools you need to create life-long donors, who feel deeply connected to your cause. That’s why donor stewardship is so important to us. Donor stewardship is the process that occurs once a donor has given to your project through DonorSee. Specifically, stewardship refers to all of the relationship-building and communication that take place after a gift has been received. 

It is widely recognized that fiscal accountability, appreciation, and the ability to show impact are important features of a strong stewardship program. DonorSee was designed to meet all of these needs by offering a suite of communication tools that deepen donor relationships.

Below, we share three tips on how to steward life-long donors through the DonorSee platform.

Ask people to follow you

Followers are your champions. These are donors who have opted to receive a direct email notification every time you post a new project, because of how invested they are in your work.

Each email that a follower receives includes the new video you just posted (along with the project description) as well as your DonorSee profile photo and bio. Through our platform, we aim to make communication between you and your donors as easy and seamless as possible. 

You can check how many followers you have on your dashboard.

Followers are a great proxy for judging how successful you will be on the platform. The more followers you have, the quicker your projects are likely to be funded. Furthermore, by cultivating a strong base of followers, new donors who land on your page will feel an increased sense of ease when giving to you, knowing that so many others are dedicated to your cause. What a great virtuous cycle! Ask your existing donor base to follow you using your custom follow link, and keep everyone up to date on your activities. Our partners have noticed that consistent communication through video builds even stronger relationships with some of their long-term advocates (resulting in increased donor giving capacities!)

Maintain an active profile

Trust undergirds all of the interactions on the Donorsee platform, and donors who will be browsing projects are more likely to give to organizations that they can connect with on a personal level. The more you share about your wider mission, the greater your legitimacy on the platform. While it’s important to customize your donorsee profile in order to be successful, it’s also worth noting that the more active you are, the more likely a donor will give to your cause. Maintain high engagement rates by posting a variety of new projects (we recommend a minimum of ten active projects at all times) that showcase the depth and breadth of your operations, and make sure to update existing projects on a regular basis, should you notice interest waning. This technique is especially helpful when you are soliciting funds for a large project, and trying to avoid donor fatigue.

When someone gives to your cause, go ahead and send them a thank you message if you’d like, by replying directly on the project page.

This message will be sent straight to the inbox of your new donor, and it will also show any prospective donors browsing your page that you are actively engaged on the platform.

Personalise your video updates

Once a project has been funded, your donors will be eager to see the impact of their gift. Project follow-ups are the perfect opportunity to really wow your supporters by expressing gratitude, and showing them what you have accomplished together, as a team. 

A robust and timely follow-up can help convert one time givers into long time followers. 

As soon as you post a project follow-up on your Donorsee page, all of the donors who gave to your cause will instantly receive a custom email with your video follow-up embedded. Keep donors updated by posting a follow-up within seven days of receiving funds. If you are unable to film a video this quickly, make sure to update the donors with a text response that provides an accurate timeline for updates. Feel free to personalize the thank you video as much as possible (donors love shout-outs!) and be sure to clearly convey the impact the gift has had through clear audio and video. Express your appreciation, and leverage video to give your donor a giving experience unlike any other!

Have any other tips for leveraging the donorsee communication tools and taking your donor relationships to the next level? We’d love to hear them! Email teressa@donorsee.com

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