Stewardship Isn’t Just a Thank You Letter

Morgan Schneeberger 04.24.09

I’m fortunate enough to speak to nonprofit organizations each day and lately I’ve noticed a heavier emphasis on stewardship. This makes me smile. It means they’re thinking strategically about their organization’s success and not only how they can fulfill their mission but how they can best show the impact of each gift.

I know stewardship is important to everyone in the nonprofit space.  I also know there are a thousand other things on your mind so practicing stewardship can’t always be top of mind. The good news for you is there is a vehicle out there working for YOU 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any guesses who or what I’m talking about? (And no, it’s not that poor college intern working with you until May!) 

The answer is…….(drum roll please)


That’s right folks – the Internet. Your organization’s website is here to serve you. A few questions:


  1. Do you know the percentage of a donor’s dollar that goes towards your mission?
  2. Do you show this percentage on your website?
  3. Do you allow a donor to decide where their money is designated to?
  4. Does your online giving page give designation options?
  5. Do you mention stewardship or accountability anywhere on your website?


Here Are Some Examples:

Accountability and Transparency:
Accountability: Acción Email Newsletter
 Donation Designation Options: Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Hopefully these questions and examples got you thinking and start to give you a better idea on how your website can work for you. In today’s economic climate our donors are researching more than ever who they are donating to and where their money goes. I can tell you I’m much more likely to give to an organization advertising that 94% of my gift goes to their programs vs. an organization that doesn’t say anything. Use your website well and show the impact of a dollar or advertise your high Charity Navigator ranking. Small actions really do make a large difference!

Do you have other ideas? Is your organization practicing accountability and stewardship well? Leave a comment and let us know!

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