How to Start a Foundation Stewardship Program from Scratch

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What does effective private foundation stewardship look like? Grand Valley State has a tightly-knit community - and here's how they got there. Based on their experience, read 5 steps to get started, 5 steps to get your house in order, 4 ways to learn about the community, and 4 ways to make it personal.

by Steven G. de Polo, Director of Foundation Giving at Grand Valley State University

Attending Academic Impressions’ “Corporate Stewardship: Demonstrating ROI” webcast recently, I was provoked to think more deeply about what private foundation stewardship would look like. This question has been critical to my work at Grand Valley State. After eight years, I’ve built a significant network, but that didn’t happen immediately; this is a tightly-knit community, and coming in from outside and forming that network took concentrated work.

Here is what I’ve learned along the way.

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