Pretenders to the Steward Throne

Stewardship is the new buzzword. Everyone is talking about it. But it raises more questions than it answers.

Written by
Gordon Michie
Added
June 02, 2010
All 19 pages of Pretenders to the Steward Throne are now available free to SOFII users.

This White Paper sets out to clarify some of the confusions around the term stewardship, exploring:

  • Different notions of stewardship.
  • The differences between stewardship, donor care and relationship fundraising.
  • US notions of stewardship as they relate to planned giving.
  • Different types of fundraising stewardship – including the idea of ‘Third Level Stewardship’ which sits above and encompasses relationship fundraising and is a notion of stewardship that is not yet practised or aspired to by British fundraisers.

The White Paper then identifies nine barriers to the adoption and take-up of stewardship among UK charities:

  • What does stewardship actually mean?
  • British, or American-style stewardship?
  • There is no common understanding of stewardship in a fundraising context.
  • Bandwagon jumping.
  • Low standards of donor care could undermine stewardship.
  • Measurement – KPIs (key performance indicators) and benchmarks are needed to assess the impact of stewardship.
  • Is stewardship a means or an end?
  • Training/CPD issues.
  • Lack of will for stewardship to succeed.

Finally, this White Paper concludes by calling on the Institute of Fundraising to set up a working party to develop a code of practice on fundraising stewardship that will introduce a definition of stewardship that can be used as a benchmark for all fundraisers.

To read the full white paper download the PDF.

Notes

The opinions expressed in this article and this download belong to the author and are not necessarily shared by SOFII.—SOFII editors

About the author: Gordon Michie

Gordon Michie

Gordon Michie is the Development Director at Relationship Marketing Limited

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