If mid-level giving isn’t a core piece of your development strategy you’re making a big mistake. Here’s why: there’s lots of content out there about recruiting new small-gift donors or creating a stewardship program for major donors. But what about those donors who fall smack dab in the middle? Is it easy to ignore mid-level giving? Yes, it is, but it would be well worth your while to put together a well-thought-out program for this level of donors.
By having a solid grasp on what a mid-level giving program can accomplish, you can begin to tap into this critical area of donor support.
Mid-level giving is….
At its core, mid-level giving is the donor group that falls between your annual and major donors. The actual gift range that makes up mid-level giving depends on your nonprofit’s goals and size, similar to how you might determine what qualifies as a major gift at your organization. One way of deciding which donors to include in your mid-level giving program is to look at the range of annual donation amounts by donor for the middle third of all your supporters. One nonprofit may find that their mid-level giving ranges from $500 to $1,000 per year. By contrast, another may designate that mid-level gifts span from $3,0000 to $5,000 per year.
Mid-level donors may give relatively high recurring donations and increase that amount annually. They may also have a tendency to give additional gifts throughout the year on top of their recurring amounts. For the most part, mid-level giving includes donors who have shown a strong interest in your nonprofit. Their relationship with your work goes beyond an initial interaction or light touch. They may even consider their support of your cause as a piece of their identity.
And while it’s true that mid-level donors are more likely to be noticeably more engaged with your cause than casual or first-time donors, they probably aren’t seeking the one-on-one,in-person stewardship that your major donors often look for.
Mid-level giving programs allow you to add personal touches to the donor experience. You can meet them in the middle- between the basic outreach done for annual donors and the individual proposals you do for major donoors.
Mid-level giving is important because…
Once you’ve identified which donors make up your mid-level group, it helps to know why specifically cultivating this level of donors is important. Knowing the “why” for your mid-level giving program can motivate your team to grow these relationships.
Retention rates increase as donors become more engaged – not only can mid-level giving provide sustainable revenue, it also can increase the chance that these donors share your organization’s work with their networks and encourages friends, family members, and co-workers to become donors. A stewardship plan that is specific to mid-level giving helps these donors feel appreciated for their support. For example, you might host a special event just for mid-level donors where you share stories about the impact they’ve helped you have during the year and provide branded marketing materials as a thank you.
Revenue can be maximized by efficient use of personalization- When you identify your mid-level segment of donors, you can then begin to automate some of your outreach or additional engagement that make your stewardship efforts both more personal and efficient. It will be easy to send specific emails or direct mail to this group. The aim should be to make the donor experience feel more special and personalized for mid-level donors without requiring tons of extra staff effort. Your mid-level donors also represent a great opportunity to secure recurring gifts that offer consistent revenue.
Identifying prospects that you cultivate into major donors – Depending upon a donor’s overall capacity, one who falls into the mid-level category may be able to be cultivated into a major donor. After all, they’re already giving a significant amount and have a strong connection to your mission—this is a great place to be in terms of further engagement opportunities. When you track mid-level giving, you can pinpoint which donors continue to increase their involvement and giving over time and then share that data with your major gifts team.
If you’d like to discuss putting together a mid-level giving program at your nonprofit, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 708-974-2600, ext 105 or email ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.