10B | "In lieu of flowers…" a Case Study in Stewardship & Retention of Memorial Gifts

Friday, Sept 22
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Non Profit (Social/Environment/Advocacy/Religion)

Experience Level
Newcomer (0-2 years)

Shop Size
Small Shop (1-5 staff)

There is more than one point of entry for a potential donor to become a donor. One of these is memorial gifts given in response to an obituary notice: "In lieu of flowers, please make donations to --." Many memorial donations are in fact transactional, and we may assume they are just passing through -- a gift in memory of dear old Aunt Agnes so a cousin will get a condolence message. How do you approach this type of donor? Learn how one organization decided to make a concerted effort to move as many memorial donors as possible from transactional into a relationship through stewardship, storytelling, and solicitation. Moving 10% or even 20% into an ongoing relationship translates into huge dollars!


Beth Bryant

Beth Bryant is Stewardship and Communications Manager with the nonprofit Hospice & Palliative CareCenter in Winston-Salem, NC. She is responsible for engaging donors and delivering the best possible experience by letting them know how they have made a difference and that they are valued. Beth's philosophy is that all of her organization's supporters deserve to be treated with gratitude and respect because they make Hospice & Palliative CareCenter's important work possible.

She aims to deepen relationships in order to encourage them to support again - ideally long-term. There are many compelling business reasons for investing in delivering good stewardship, not the least of which is that it is far more cost effective to cultivate repeat support from someone who has given before than to find an entirely new donor. Beth's stewardship plan focuses on: thanking donors, educating donors, and deepening relationships with donors. 


Shannon Neal

Shannon Neal is the Manager of Individual Giving at Hospice & Palliative CareCenter. In her 5 years at Hospice, she has had the opportunity to work in several roles. Her major focus is the annual fund which includes direct mail campaigns. She works closely with team members to provide streamlined processes for day-to-day department activity, such as dashboards and automated reporting.