Tip of the Week: Stewarding the Gift

You’ve heard of the importance of stewarding your donors, but how about stewarding the gift?

Last week we kicked off the Strength Training for Fundraisers webinar series with A Bigger, Stronger Pipeline to Major Gifts. RKD’s Fiona Cunningham stressed the importance of—and difference between—stewarding your donor and stewarding their gifts.

“Stewarding a gift is following the money through the process, and communicating at touchpoints along the way,” explains Cunningham.

That journey might entail:

  • Calling the donor to thank them. “It can be as simple as saying, ‘What a lovely surprise! We just received your check and are overwhelmed with gratitude.’”
  • Sending a hand-written thank-you note
  • Ensuring the donor receives a tax receipt
  • Following up later with an impact report. “Show them what they made happen through their generosity,” says Cunningham. For example, this could be a story of a dog who needed major surgery, etc., or a cat saved from an abusive situation.

For more ideas like this, listen to the recording of A Bigger, Stronger Pipeline to Major Gifts.

More on Fundraising

Blog: It’s Time to Shift the Mindset
Blog: Don’t Let Inflation Slow You Down
Upcoming Webinar, 9/21: Convincing Animal Lovers to Give to People
Upcoming Webinar, 9/28: Monthly Giving Doesn’t Happen By Chance


The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.


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