Cultivation & Stewardship
Knowledge Center

Cultivation & Stewardship

Stewardship Basics

Building a steward program will build a stronger bond with donors and help to build a stronger program overall.

Stewarding Your Donors
This article gives an overview of how to steward your donors to build stronger, long-term relationships with your most committed partners. Adapted from February, 2012 Webinar: When "Thank You" Isn't Enough: The Art of Donor Stewardship.
Stewardship Questions to Ask Donors (PDF)
People remember more of what they say than what you say.  People believe what they say more than what we say.  People enjoy conversations in which they speak the most.  Therefore, it is our responsibility to elicit the case for support from our potential donors.
The Two Most Important Words in Philanthropy...
...are "Thank You." JCamp 180 Mentor Klara Grape writes about the importance of timely, genuine Thank You letters...and how to make your Thank You letters great.
How is your firm's stewardship?
Studies and personal experience tell us that retaining your existing donors is key to long-term fundraising success. And stewardship is the key process to building long-term relationships with recurring donors. Yet, so many nonprofits do it poorly. Why is that, and how do you improve it?
Annual Blanket Approach to Stewardship (PDF)
Asking Strategic Questions
Sample Stewardship Chart (PDF)
This sample chart is a starting point for defining the standard Stewardship and Donor Recognition actions that should take place with each donor, based on their giving level. This chart can be modified to meet the specific plans of each organization.
20 Questions (PDF)
Don't know how to get that conversation going? But you know that having meaningful conversations can make a difference in really understanding what is important to people? This document includes twenty questions to help guide you in listening effectively.
How Was This Letter to Harold Grinspoon Different from Other Letters?!?
Article from JCamp 180 Mentor Natasha Dresner exploring the topic of improving stewardship letters.
Sample Stewardship Letter - Camp JORI (PDF)
Example of stewardship letter from Camp Jori.
Suppose She Says Yes...Now What?
Article by Jack Hornor focusing on the importance of stewarding your donors beyond the Thank You.
Sample Major Donor Cultivation and Stewardship Plan - Camp Solomon Schechter (PDF)
Camp Solomon Schechter Development Director Jef Nobbe prepared this detailed overview of Donor Stewardship activities for the Board. Includes an overview of a good Stewardship process, as well as specific ideas for monthly outreach to donors.
Stewarding Your Donors (PPT)
PowerPoint presentation outlining the essentials of stewarding your donors.
Stewarding Your Donors
Stewardship webinar from JCamp 180 with Mentors David Sharken and Kevin Martone.
Care and Stewardship for Donors (DOC)
Resource from Create a Jewish Legacy; Care of Donors: Cultivation, Recognition, and Stewardship.
Sample Holiday Card - Ramah in the Rockies (PDF)
A simple and effective design concept for reaching out to your camp community during the holidays.
This is the Thanks I Get? (Video)
Episode 1 of our "Live from 380 Union!" video series. Mentors Dan Kirsch and Julia Riseman review the good, bad, and ugly of Thank You Letters received from camps.
Sample Acknowledgement Letter - Camp Ramah in New England (PDF)
A good example of a personal and truly grateful Thank You Letter.
Sample Camp Thank You Video - URJ Greene Family Camp
URJ Greene Family Camp's video shows campers and staff thanking donors for their Capital Campaing donations that supported various projects throughout camp.
Sample Camp Thank You Video - Camp Ramah New England
Camp Ramah New England asked campers and staff to say "Todah Rabbah" to donors for their support of camp
Sample Legacy Society Video - URJ Camp Newman
URJ Camp Newman gave their Legacy Society members the opportunity o share why they love and support camp.
Sample Donor Thank You Postcard From Camper - Tamarack Camps (PDF)
Postcard from Tamarack Camps; Camp Maas camper
Thank You Letter Template
Always good to have a sample, now you can make it your own using this template.
Thank You Letter with Values Template
A thank you letter based on values of your camp and your campaign.
Tool Kit Tips for Thanking (and Keeping) Donors
Lots of great ideas from collected articles and Links from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Engaging Donors as Volunteers

Engaging prospects and donors as volunteers can make them more likely to invest in the long-term sustainability of camp..

Are You Asking Your Major Donors to Volunteer at Camp? (ARTICLE)
Studies show that high net worth donors are increasingly engaged philanthropists who see their donations as an investment. They want to become even more involved, and welcome an invitation to volunteer. How can your camp engage your donors as volunteers to build a stronger relationship with them?


Relational Judaism

 Building strong relationships is a key ingredient in successful cultivation and stewardship efforts.

What Does Relational Judaism Mean for Camps? (ARTICLE) 
Camps have a unique opportunity to embrace relationship-building through Relational Judaism to build life-long connections with alumni, donors, and current/potential families.


Camp Visits

How to develop camp visits that resonate with visitors.

Show and Tell: Successful Camp Visits for Donors and Prospects (PPT)
PowerPoint presentation from GIJP Mentor Natasha Dresner.
Show and Tell: Successful Camp Visits for Donors and Prospects
Webinar from JCamp180 Mentor Natasha Dresner.
Camp Tour Worksheet (PDF)
Seven questions to ensure you organize/lead an effective camp tour.
Sample Camp Tour Invitation (DOC)
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
Sample Camp Tour Invitation (DOC)
URJ Eisner & Crane Lake
Sample Workflow for Summer Invite Follow-up (DOC)
URJ Eisner & Crane Lake


Group Cultivation

Learn how you can develop and cultivate a cohesive culture.

Sample Point of Entry Agenda (Group Cultivation Visit) (DOC)
Example of a basic tour agenda.
Sample Camp Visit Follow-up Thank You Letter (DOC)
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
Sample Shabbat Dinner Certificate (PDF)
Camp Kalsman



Learn how to share and tell your story!

10 Laws of Storytelling (PDF)
From Storytelling as Best Practice by: Andy Goodman
Successful Donor and Prospect Camp Visits (DOC)
Article from JCamp 180 Mentor Natasha Dresner.
Enrich Your Conversations and Stories (ARTICLE)
Article from JCamp 180 Mentor Jill Paul about the Jewish Women's Archives and how it can help us improve our conversations and storytelling.


Tech for Stewardship

How does stewardship fit into your big picture?

Using Technology for Stewardship (ARTICLE)
How to use technology as a tool for cultivating relationships and contacts.

Raising "Meaning" Before Money with Social Media (ARTICLE)
Social media is for community building and defining prospects not a direct fundraising tool.