Practice Good Donor Stewardship

Once you’ve funded the project, don’t go radio silent.

Urban Forestry Funding Action Guide Phase:

Bring your partners and funders along for the journey

Donors in particular don’t like to disappear behind the curtain once the check is written. They’ll appreciate being kept up to date on what you’re doing, and what you’ve accomplished.

Large or small: make sure all donors hear from you

Whether your funding comes from individuals, foundations, even big federal agencies — you will benefit by maintaining regular contact. Even the feds are people too.

Don’t get it and forget it

Whether by email, websites, phone calls or meetings, good donor communication lays the foundation for a successful project and paves the way for new ones. Don’t just share good news; if challenges arise, let your partners know. And, perhaps invite their help in addressing them. Most people want to feel — and be — part of a success story.

Work in public

Publicize your project. It’s important to educate your neighbors and peer organizations about your progress. If the problem you’re working on is important to the community, build a higher profile. The result: engaged stakeholders, motivated residents.

No one wants publicity when things aren’t going exactly the way you want them to. But if you’re out there first, you can control the story — and perhaps find allies to help you move forward.

Celebrate success

Try to let others tell your story. Successful programs can most credibly be described by the people who participate and benefit from them.

Don’t let go

The people who’ve funded your last programs are the ones most likely to fund your next one. Stay in touch.


Urban Forestry Funding Action Guide