Reprinted with thanks to
We all want our board members to be focused on development – to do those solicitations! So it’s not surprising that solicitation training is the most requested board training. However, we can’t stop there if we want our donors to renew their gifts next year. We need our board to be trained on and focusing on stewardship as well.

Stewardship is all about maintaining and evolving long-term relationships with donors by taking the time to recognize, thank and educate them. Effective stewardship ensures that donors know their gift is appreciated, valued and impactful, and is about engaging the donor so that he or she feels even more positive about the organization than when they made their gift. And who better to participate in this work than your board members?

Donors who only hear from organizations with financial requests disengage quickly. The goals of stewardship are: (1) repeat giving, (2) giving in increasing amounts, (3) deepening the donors commitment to the organization, for example, from gala attendee to annual campaign donor or from annual campaign donor to endowment and (4) asking the donor to engage in organizational leadership.

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Jennifer Weinstock, a current Wexner Field Fellow (Class 26), has been applying her expertise as a development professional for more than 19 years with an emphasis on relationship-building strategies between donors and organizations. She is currently the Director of Development at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA. Previously, Jennifer was Strategy Manager for Growing Annual Fund Revenue at the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, in the women’s division at both the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, and also spent more than a decade at WGBH, Boston’s public broadcasting station, as the senior Major Gifts officer, Director of Stewardship and Director of the Major Gifts Annual Fund. Jennifer can be reached at