Bridging Stewardship and Cultivation: Crafting Stewardship Plans for Major and Principal Donors
Session 5B

Thursday, October 4 | 10:30–11:30 AM 

Presented by: 
Jen McGrath and Corey Smentek

Session Description: 

Are you looking for ways to align stewardship more closely with cultivation? Bringing donor relations and stewardship to the forefront of the overall donor strategy is paramount to donor retention. Join us to hear how the Massachusetts Institute of Technology implemented an individualized stewardship plan program for major and principal donors and come away with a process and ideas to establish or enhance one at your own institution. This session will demonstrate a step-by-step plan, walking you through the implementation, execution, and maintenance stages, and will provide you with tools to assist with the management of the program.

Shop Size
Suitable for any shop size

Experience Levels
Early-Career (4–7 years)
Mid-Career (8–12 years)
Seasoned (13–17 years)
Experienced (18+ years)

Private College/University
Public College/University
Private Secondary School
Religious Organization
Arts Organization
Environmental Organization
Advocacy Organization
Social Services
Other Nonprofit

Donor Experience
Individualized Stewardship Plans
Major Donors
Working with Frontline Fundraisers


About the Speakers:



Jen McGrath
Senior Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jen McGrath is the senior director of donor relations and stewardship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her team of nine is responsible for fostering the relationship between the institute and its donors through activities that acknowledge, recognize, and report on gifts to MIT, engaging donors in the life of the institute in support of MIT's $5B Campaign for a Better World. Prior to joining MIT in February 2017, she served as Boston University's director of stewardship & donor relations. 

As a past conference presenter and a Hub newsletter contributor, Jen has addressed giving society launches, online donor recognition, ideas for productivity, comprehensive reporting programs, and other topics of particular interest to seasoned professionals. Jen joined ADRP in 2010, and has been honored to serve as a session host, presenters coach, and presenter for several international conferences, a past member of Archives Project and Nominations Committee, and as a member of the board of directors, beginning in 2015.

Corey Smentek
Associate Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Corey Smentek is the associate director of donor relations and stewardship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her role, she leads the development and execution of both broad-based and individualized stewardship plans for major and principal gift donors. Corey started at MIT in 2007 and began her tenure in trustee relations before entering the development world to focus on volunteer management of the Corporation Development Committee, a standing committee of the MIT Corporation that secures critical financial resources for the Institute. Since joining donor relations and stewardship, Corey's work has encompassed a wide-array of areas ranging from acknowledgments to reporting, recognition, and engagement.