By investing wisely in stewardship activities, you can keep donors engaged in a donating cycle and encourage them toward regular repeat giving and giving in increasing amounts, ultimately increasing your overall pool of donors and prospects, and boosting your fundraising income.
The stewardship phase should feed back into cultivating the donor for a future ask. However, fundraisers should be extremely cautious that stewardship and cultivation phases are not just about preparing to make the ask. These phases are about engaging the prospect/donor in the institution. Donors who only hear from the institution with financial requests disengage quickly.
You should invest time and effort in research, cultivation, and stewardship activities to have the best response rate. Be sure to remember to record details and notes every phase. HubSpot is especially well-suited to support all of these efforts. Why? Well, the commercial sales process called "the sales pipeline" is very similar to the donor cycle. We wrote an excellent article here outlining that process, similarities, and how to benefit from using HubSpot and the decades of sales technology to improve your fundraising.