“Donor Relations” vs. “Stewardship”

April 11th, 2016

Fundraisers toss around these two terms, Stewardship and Donor Relations, interchangeably.

I don’t think they are. “Stewardship” has always carried a fiduciary inference to me. A vital and legal responsibility without fail. On the other hand, “Donor Relations” has meant just what it implies, the relationship an organization establishes and supports with a donor. The latter term is more inclusive and actually includes stewardship activities.

I cannot convey the differences/relationship any more concisely than Lynn Wester, “Donor Relations Guru”, has. Here is a wonderful overview, based on science vs. art.

A terrific comparison, so visually well thought out. See what you think and take an honest look at your organization’s set-up. Things not clearly defined in your “shop”?  Emulate what you see below and all will smoothly transition to meaningful and purposeful actions-taken.

Written by Robin E. Williams

Donor Relations Chart2

Capital Campaigns are NOT about raising money

April 9th, 2014

After 30 years of focus on philanthropy, I’ve come to understand that Capital Campaigns are about institutional transformation…..NOT about raising money.

food for thoughtSo just as one evaluates all organizational efficiencies and goals in prep for the campaign, one must particularly reflect on how donors are thanked.

Proactive or reactionary? Motivational or an afterthought? Unified or hodge-podge? Programmatic or “in the moment”? Brand supportive or non-specific? Any campaign (and organization’s future) is better served if its thinking about thanking were transformed in preparation for imminent change.

Written by Robin E. Williams

Take a Stand. Communicate your Brand….via Donor Recognition

June 4th, 2013


BreakthroughIf you know me, you know that I have always advocated for a more proactive attitude-and-action-plan toward the use of donor recognition as motivator, informer and energizer of viewers (all of whom are prospective donors). Donor recognition, whether a donor plaque, donor wall, interactive donor display, an online donor story, or even a billboard, communicates “something” to each viewer 24/7/365. It’s an opportune moment to use donor recognition as a strategy for improving donor acquisition and retention by planning its content within the context larger messaging goals. Continue reading »

5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should be on Pinterest: (especially those focused upon Women and/or Education)

August 15th, 2012

More often these days, we are hearing of Pinterest, a of new-ish social media site that focuses on the visual experience of its contributors. They even call themselves an “an online pinboard”. At first glance it seems oriented to the individual and his/her artistic interests and endeavors. And often we hear that there’s nothing in it for the nonprofit organization.

Yet, just yesterday the following five reasons supporting its use by nonprofits came across my desk from “Branded4Good”. (This site and its newsletter are very well done. I highly encourage you to check it out beyond the subject of this post.) Continue reading »