What’s In My Mailbox | Stickley sheds light on how to do stewardship right

August 22, 2018


Jersey-based Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms is both a Basics & More Alum and a subscriber to my weekly Grow Report. Several years ago, I made a random online gift to them as part of an online *mystery shopping* experiment.  I was curious as to what steps I had to take between the first click and last, how many steps were involved in making a gift, and the follow-up. I appreciated Stickley Museum’s followup to my gift. And as a donor, I found myself attracted to their mission for a few reasons:

  • I have great interest in historical preservation that stems from my state’s rich history, and lucky for me, so much of that history is less than an hour from where I live. I feel passionately about protecting it, especially in the face of capitalism and corporations.
  • I’m a major fan of the Arts & Crafts movement.
  • Gustav’s home bears a strong resemblance to my grandma’s house, a Portland, Michigan-based bungalow that still stands today. So many childhood memories are attached to that place that I could probably write a book about them. A novella, at least!

My most recent communications from Stickley Museum came via direct mail, and it consists of a letter and two brochures. The letter communicates gratitude that I’m a part of their family of Stickley Sustainers and explains how my gift is helping to keep their history alive in 2018. The letter also mentions the accompanying brochures: (1) A detailed grounds map, including their nine buildings, that feels very warm and inviting and (2) a copy of their Architecture Scavenger Hunt for children, which shows me how they’re upholding their mission through educating kids in a way that’s uniquely fun and exploratory.

I’m happy to be a Stickley Sustainer. I converted from one-time donor to monthly donor and Stickley Museum’s consistent communications remind me that I made a great choice. You know, one of the questions I get asked most is…
How do you steward sustainers?
There are lots of ways. Hopefully my story of how I became a sustainer at Stickley Museum sheds some light on how you can make it happen. Here are a couple of other examples to lend some additional insight…
When it comes to stewarding monthly and sponsorship donors, Lisa Sargent has got some invaluable golden nuggets of wisdom to provide on the topic.
Becoming a monthly donor often means that communication quickly falls to the wayside, which you want to avoid. Brittany’s Hope knows it’s important that their sustainers feel glad about their choice to go monthly, so they work to maintain the communications.

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