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Stuck Like Glue!

I’m always reminded of Sugarland’s song, “Stuck Like Glue”, when I think about donor stewardship.



“Absolutely no one who knows me better

No one that can make me feel so good

How did we stay so long together

When everybody

Everybody said we never would

And just when I

I start to think they're right

That love has died

There you go making my heart beat again

Heart beat again, heart beat again”



Are your donors sticking to you like glue? Odds are they aren’t (more on that below). Do you have a stewardship plan? You need to. No matter how big or small your organization is, you MUST have a plan.


Donor retention rates for nonprofits haven’t been all that great in the past decade. Now, they are worse than ever according to AFP’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project.


“New donors that were gained in 2021 did not give again at the same rate in 2022, instead falling by 26.4%. Combined, new and new retained donors accounted for 81% of total donor decline year-over-year. What’s more, the stalwart of retention—repeat-retained— saw another decline of 3.5%. This brings the total overall donor retention rate for 2022 to 42.6%, the lowest rate on record.


That should alarm any nonprofit.


I get how difficult it is to steward your donors when wearing so many hats. I spent half my nonprofit career working in small and medium size organizations struggling to ensure we had some form of donor stewardship. I recall one organization being responsible for development, marketing, volunteers and staffing the front desk (talk about hats!) with one development assistant (she was amazing!). That said, I made sure to find time throughout my week to call and thank at least 5 donors. I would prepare a list of donor names for board members to write thank you cards to and mail them.


If you don’t have a stewardship plan, then start one. Don't have time, then contact Dandelion Consulting about creating a customized stewardship plan that's right for your organization.


Head over to my Resource Library and download a template (by providing your email address). Adapt the plan to your organization. No matter how simple the plan just start. Remember, stewardship is everyone's responsibility and a wonderful way to engage your board, key volunteers, and other staff members!


Now, get those donors stuck to you like glue.



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