Donor cultivation and stewardship – it’s all unique and one-of-a-kind!

I often get asked from my clients, how many touchpoints do you need to give to a donor at a certain level?

And, my answer – it varies.

There is some science to the whole matter.  In fact, after I conduct a rating and ranking session, I will combine all of the numbers and come up with a formulaic cultivation quotient.  The number of touches estimated for a particular donor’s rating score and ranking.

To me, that is a guide.  What we must remember is that each donor is an individual.  They have different motivations for giving, different ways that they would like to be recognized, and different things that they are interested in giving to support. And, that means that they all have different cultivation and stewardship needs as well.  So, while I could say that the cultivation quotient for Mrs. Smith came out to 20 touches per year, she may not want to be contacted or that involved with the organization.

I advocate that each necessitates a thorough review and a particular strategy custom and unique for them.  And, often, it takes a wise fundraiser who has been in conversation with the donor to recognize what is or is not important to them.

Now, I am not advocating that we throw the “moves management” system of relationship-building out.  However, what I am recommending instead is that we seriously advocate instead for a very donor-centered process that takes in the uniqueness of each donor into the “moves management” equation when developing strategies for cultivation and stewardship.  Let’s not reduce our donors down to formulas, quotients, or tactics.  They are people – unique and compassionate!

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