How To Steward Your Partnerships Like A Boss!
With a heightened focus on building new partnerships, the importance of stewardship is often overlooked in corporate fundraising. Yet, the vast majority of your annual corporate revenue will come from the partners that already know and love your mission and organization.
Corporations in today’s world don’t just want to support your mission once, they want to create long-lasting and tangible change alongside you for years to come. Stellar stewardship can deepen your relationship with your partners and help build trust in your expertise and the impact of their funds on your mission.
We’ve borrowed basic business principles to help you steward your partners like a boss!
In business, customer retention is “big business”. High customer retention rates can help a company spend less on marketing, improve the overall lifetime value of a customer, earn more referrals from happy long-term customers and directly increase their profit margin. The impact partner (or any kind of donor) retention can have on a charitable organization should be no different.
According to the Harvard Business Review, Increasing customer (or partner) retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%. Additionally, it’s 5 – 25x more expensive to acquire a new customer (or partner) than it is to retain an existing one.
Learn more about specific corporate partnership retention rates and benchmarks in Accelerist’s Steward Like A Boss Playbook.
To identify your stewardship and partner retention strategies, first, consider your current state of the union. Good questions to ask your team are:
- What kinds of partners have we retained and lost over the last 3+ years?
- Which assets are most of our partners leveraging and finding value in?
- Which of our partners could support us in a deeper way?
Consider these key stewardship best practices to level up your retention strategy:
- Onboarding & Goal-Setting: Host partner kick-off calls that include: 1) Goal-setting, 2) 30, 60 and 90-day+ expectations, 3) Measurement, communications and reporting plans.
- Partner Sufficiency: Support your partners’ ability to amplify your partnership with a digital toolkit including your brand guidelines, assets and pre-approved content.
- Opportunities & Education: The Top 10% of your partners donate 3x more than the rest. Create VIP opportunities, Advisory boards and mission-education events to deepen and recognize relationships.
For more stewardship best practices, download Accelerist’s Steward Like A Boss Playbook.
Perhaps one of the most important tactics of a stewardship strategy is Reporting. If you’re not reporting to ALL of your partners the value they experienced in partnering with you – start doing so yesterday! Reporting doesn’t have to be extensive, just deliberate. Some partnerships will include different types of value than others, but it should all be measured and reported. Proactive goal-setting at the beginning of each partnership is critical in successfully reporting on the metrics important to each partner.
Value, for us, comes in four different forms:
- Business Value – the ability to impact a business goal of your partner’s.
- Financial Value – the ability to demonstrate a tangible return on their investment or a subsidized expense.
- Constituent Value – the ability to engage their consumers or employees and drive greater affinity and loyalty.
- Societal Value – the ability to explain how their support directly impacted your mission.
For more corporate partner stewardship resources and templates, download Accelerist’s Steward Like A Boss Playbook.