Friday, October 31, 2008

Donor Stewardship Demystified

The power of individuals donors in bringing about social change is immense. The non-profits can create long lasting individual partnerships to sustain their programmes till the time they are needed.

Often, you would have heard people saying that Donor Stewardship is a way of keeping donors for ever and ever excited about your cause. Quiet true, but have you ever wondered what does Donor Stewardship actually mean?

Well the words are plain English and each one of us can explain it in our own way. Gordon Mitchie and his team from Relationship Marketing, UK asked several practitioners around the world the question.

The results are out. A comprehensive report that lucidly explains the concept.

Gordon has identified at least three distinct types of stewardship in this report- passive stewardship, active stewardship and proactive stewardship.

Passive stewardship is pretty much customer or donor care – making sure letters are address correctly and donors are thanked on time, that sort of thing – and is very DM-oriented.

With active stewardship, fundraisers begin an interactive, personal relationship with donors.

Proactive stewardship is very much like traditional major donor fundraising (detailed research on donor and one to one cultivation).

The full copy of the report is available at

PS: Just in case this link does not work or you want to know more about Stewardship, please write to

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Should non-profits work with corporates?

Well the non-profits who partner with corporates, often have this question crossing their minds. Obviously, this thought never crosses the ones like GreenPeace who do not partner as a philosophy.Therefore, my first statement and what follows below is more for non-profits who do partner with corporates.

There are many reasons for questioning the rationale of corporate partnerships. Some of the ones that I have heard include:

- inability to understand the developmental nuances
- expectation to see results as of yesterday
- donor and donee kind of relationship rather than partnership
- wanting too many reports and visits
- the need to publicise it immensely
- corporate or CSR objective driven programming than need based

All the above are valid to some extent. But does that mean we stop working with corporations?

Well obviously not. And this not for the resources they bring in. This is also not for the leverage they could provide. Even not for the well meaning employee group power they bring.

I feel the biggest reason to partner is, to sensitise corporations on the above issues. I think a better mutual appreciation results from sitting and discussing these on the same side of the table.

End word: Yes and yes let us partner with corporations!