HILBORN RECOMMENDS...Dodging Tough Times

publication date: Apr 16, 2013

In the spring of 2010, 207 nonprofit and charitable organizations from across Canada took part in a donor recognition and stewardship practices survey, administered by The Goldie Group and Collis & Reed Research.  The main objective of this project was to construct a profile of how these organizations go about thanking and stewarding their donors.

The survey findings, as documented in “Dodging Tough Times” presents an interesting picture of how stewardship is evolving in the nonprofit industry. Developing a program to thank and steward donors is a relatively young fundraising practice in Canada. Respondents report a median age of 5 years of operating organized donor recognition and stewardship.

In contrast to how organizations thank their annual donors, where there are a small number of techniques that are known to be effective and are used by most organizations, the survey results indicate there is no prescribed way that thanking major donors is carried out.

Think about how you would answer the following sample of survey questions as they pertain to your organization:

1.a) Do you have different programs in place to thank donors depending on their level of contribution?

1. b) What are the contribution criteria for each of the donor programs that your organization has in place?

2. a) Does your organization have a program in place to thank and cultivate major donors?

2. b) What is your organization’s definition of a major donor?

3. How often per year does your organization make contact with your major donors?

4. What challenges has your organization’s stewardship program encountered?

5. How often does your organization seek out new information about fundraising?

The full survey consisted of 20 questions, which included multiple-choice, check off, rating and open-ended questions. Purchase the full e-report bundled with its companion report, Understanding Sustainability for only $19.99 by clicking here.


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