4 stewardship strategies to implement during COVID-19: using technology to scale personalized touches and demonstrate direct impact

Expert Insight

4 stewardship strategies to implement during COVID-19: using technology to scale personalized touches and demonstrate direct impact

It is essential to build and solidify relationships with donors, even amidst a global health pandemic with looming economic repercussions. Many of our partners shared that donors want to feel included regarding institutional strategy and are seeking opportunities to support to the university community.  At the same time, Advancement leaders are striving to create communications that are both considerate and valuable to donors during this crisis.  Below are 4 stewardship strategies to implement in the coming weeks. 

1. Demonstrate impact by spotlighting stories from students who have benefitted from university emergency funds or new pandemic relief initiatives

The University of Dallas asked for testimonial videos or notes from students about receiving support from donors to help with the recent disruptions and hardships caused by COVID-19. The result was a student experience highlight they shared on their website, in email communications, and on social media.

2. Provide targeted COVID-19 updates to affinity donors rather than making them sort through the current information storm

Miami University used ThankView to provide athletics donors an update from the baseball coach. The coach spoke about the team’s experience with COVID-19 in this video. Through this content, Miami was able to give donors a bespoke touch while also providing information on the university’s COVID-19 strategy.

3. Create meaningful opportunities for donors to engage with and have a tangible impact on the university community

Brock University in Canada pivoted their Kind Mail campaign, originally used to send notes to students, to provide a meaningful opportunity for donors, faculty, staff and students to write messages of encouragement to others in the university community and/or submit a message to be displayed on university social media pages.

4. Give curious constituents the opportunity to connect virtually with university experts around hot topics

The University of Rochester’s alumni board provided donors an opportunity to experience online learning by working with a faculty member to create a virtual lecture about the potential COVID-19 effects on American democracy.

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