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Determining your healthcare development strategy can be complex and challenging, and it’s therefore vital to establish a process in order to improve the quality and efficiency of your interactions with a prospect. Every week, we’ll cover a new phase in our program to becoming a top producer in healthcare philanthropy.

Our key steps refer to the process development officers go through when interacting with each prospect. These steps are intended to be used as a guide to improve the quality and efficiency of every interaction with a prospect or donor. While some may move more quickly or slowly than others, all prospects go through each of the steps in the process. By being prepared and utilizing these steps, development officers can effectively reduce any tension between the officer and the prospect, sharpen communication skills, and generate a sense of professionalism and confidence. In the following blog series, Tips to Becoming a Top Producer in Healthcare Philanthropy, we will touch briefly on each of the key stages in the Gobel Group program, including pre-visit checklists and suggestions for talking points during each interaction, in order to assist development officers in aligning their prospects to the next stage, every time.


#9: Stewardship

Every gift officer has likely heard the phrase, “Our best prospects are our past donors.” Yet stewardship is one of the areas in which most major gift officers spend very little time or effort. Many programs are currently raising awareness of the importance of stewardship by hiring individuals specifically to demonstrate the impact of an individual’s previous gifts. Even with these stewardship professionals in place, major gift officers still need to understand, and participate in, the strategy and implementation of these programs.
Here, in our final step in this nine-step program, we cover a list of questions you should aim to answer when designing your stewardship program for every major gift donor, addressing major concerns such as gift information, acknowledgement, recognition, and next steps:

Gift Information

  • How much did the donor give?
  • What project is the gift supporting?
  • Who is responsible for administering the gift?
  • Was the gift made in honor of someone, perhaps a physician?
  • Was a volunteer involved?


  • Did you issue a gift receipt?
  • Who needs to send the donor a letter of thanks?
    • Development Officer
    • Specific physician or another caregiver
    • Department Chair
    • Chief Executive Officer
    • Board member
    • Other volunteer
  • Does the donor need to receive a phone call from anyone mentioned above?


  • Did you ask whether it was okay to share the news of the gift with others?
  • What is the most appropriate vehicle to share the announcement of the gift?
    • Website
    • Print publication
    • Specific event for the donor
    • Announcement at another event
  • Will you include the donor’s information in an Annual Donor Report, on a Donor Recognition wall, or in another way?
  • Did you ask the donor how his or her name should appear?
  • Do you need to provide the donor with a gift, perhaps a plaque, framed article, something else?

Next Steps

  • Does the gift of involvement qualify the donor for a volunteer role?
  • Does the gift qualify the donor for an award?
  • Should you invite the donor to lunch or dinner with the CEO?
  • Do you need to provide the donor with a written report? If so, when?

Once you’ve determined the answers to the questions above, you should be well-equipped to begin initiating your stewardship program with your donor.

Congratulations! You have made it to the last step of this nine-step program to becoming a Top Producer in Healthcare Philanthropy. Click here to view the previous step, Closing the Gift or click here to go back to the first step.