everything you wanted to know about mid-level giving for small nonprofits

Poor, neglected mid-level donors.

These generous folks are making donations that are a lot larger than your average donation, but smaller than what many fundraisers would consider a "major gift".

Unfortunately, this means that mid-level donors get stuck in limbo at a lot of organizations – not quite fitting in with traditional annual or major giving strategies, they’re forgotten and ignored.

But the great news is, as a smaller organization, no-one is better positioned to start an effective mid-level giving program than you are!

But what do we really mean when we talk about mid-level giving? Let’s start with the basics…

Who is your mid-level donor at a smaller shop?

Mid-level giving programs at bigger shops often focus on those donors giving between $1,000 and $10,000.

But I’ll guess that at your smaller shop, $5K and $10K gifts are considered a pretty major event!

You’ll need to make a decision about who comprises your mid-level donor base. If you are new to segmenting your data, you may wish to keep it simple as you get started.

Many small shops start their mid-level giving with donors giving between $250 and $999, with donors giving $1,000 and over falling into major gift territory. Some mid-level programs even start at $100 – have a look at your data, and decide what’s right (and manageable) for you.

Personalize, personalize, personalize

This is where your small shop superpowers can really shine!

Your smaller donor base means that you can apply the principles of effective mid-level giving much more easily than bigger shop.

While effective mid-level giving programs will use all channels to communicate with donors, highly personalized mail is at the heart of all effective mid-level giving programs.

As a small shop, you can actually personalize these packages yourself – no need to depend on fonts that kinda sorta look like real hand writing if you squint.

Because your scale is on the smaller size, you have lots of opportunity to super personalize your mail to your mid-level donors – get creative, it’s lots of fun!

Pick up the phone

Effective use of the phone is an important part of any fundraising program – and especially crucial for your mid-level donors.

A phone call is a great way to follow up on your mail, and boost response – I’ve even included a note in the letter’s P.S. to let the donor know they can expect a phone call in the next couple of weeks to check in, and see if they have any questions about the programs they are supporting.

Of course, you should also be using the phone to make personal thank you calls – this is a great role for volunteers, especially board members!

What could make a mid-level donor feel more special than hearing personally from a leadership volunteer like your Board Chair?

Paint a picture of a brighter future

If you want your donors to make a bigger gift, you have to paint a picture of how their investment will make the world a better place

$1,000 is a lot of money – so you’ll need to move your donors with an exciting vision for the future to inspire them to give at this level.

Think of the content you share with your mid-level donors as similar to what you share with your major donors – lots of information on the impact of their gift, and perhaps an ask for them to support a bigger idea, or a more complex need.

Does your small shop currently have a mid-level giving program? What approaches have you had most success with? How do you like to personalize your communications with your mid-level donors?

Emma Lewzey is our guest on March 13, 2018 for our FREE monthly fundraising masterclass. Register here.

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The Good Partnership, 401 Richmond St West, suite 353, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

437-886-6047 | cindy@thegoodpartnership.com