The 5 phases of the faith-based supporter lifecycle

supporter lifecycle

By Joe Garecht 

Most faith-based organizations rely on supporters to fund their work. Many organizations of faith don’t think of their supporters as “donors,” though; churches and dioceses think about “members,” while religious schools think about “students,” “families” and “alumni.”  Other faith-based organizations talk about “donors,” but wonder about how to solicit donations while still honoring their higher calling.

Your congregation, the families who send their children to your school, and the supporters of ministry are all potential donors for your organization. Every donor to faith-based organizations follow a similar supporter lifecycle. It is important to understand that lifecycle to implement faith-based fundraising ideas that raise the money your organization needs to thrive.

The 5 phases of the faith-based supporter lifecycle

Step #1: Getting to Know You

The first step in the supporter lifecycle is where the donor is getting to know you, and you are getting to know the donor.

Step #2: Getting Involved

The next step in the supporter lifecycle is where the donor starts to get involved with your organization, and you work to cultivate the donor and build a relationship with them.

Step #3: First Gift

The next step in the supporter lifecycle is where the donor, who has gotten involved with your organization, makes their first contribution.

Step #4: Donor Stewardship

The next step in the supporter lifecycle is the donor stewardship process.  This is the phase where your organization seeks to build an ever-stronger relationship with the donor.

Step #5: Major Gifts & Donor Evangelism

The fifth and final step in the supporter lifecycle is asking your donors for major gifts and turning them into donor evangelists for your organization.

Check out Joe Garecht’s latest blog post to see a synopsis of each phase of the supporter lifecycle.

And, register for Blackbaud’s upcoming FREE webinar:

He will dive into the supporter lifecycle and share what actions your faith-based organization needs to take to move your donors through each phase of the supporter lifecycle and turn your community into lifelong supporters!


Joe Garecht is a non-profit fundraising consultant, author, speaker, and founder of The Fundraising Authority and The Non-Profit Fundraising Digest. He has been a professional fundraiser for more than a decade, and during that time, has served as a development director, executive director, and fundraising consultant to numerous nonprofits and political campaigns.

As the executive director of Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), Garecht led the effort to raise $50 million in endowments for individual schools, raise $4 million yearly in scholarship funds, and modernize the fundraising capabilities of more than 175 parochial schools in the Philadelphia region.

He is the author of How to Raise More Money for Any School, The Silent Auction Handbook, The School Fundraising Formula and Raising Money Without Going Crazy. All four books are available on Amazon. For more great information on how to raise money, visit Garecht on the web by visiting


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