Building a Mid-Level Giving Program
The data shows that most organizations see immense value in their mid-level givers, but most lack the discipline and investment required to make the most of a mid-level giving strategy.1
Mid-level prospects often represent significant income potential and a higher likelihood of retention stability, and yet many organizations are neglecting these individuals. At the onset of your fundraising year, prepare for how you will address mid-level donors with the potential to transition to major or planned giving. Consider these best practices as you walk through your program:
• Internally, your organization should understand the gap or “missing middle” that prevents many mid-level programs. Many fundraisers are focused on high dollar donors or the more linear paths of annual donors. Far fewer rigorously examine their fundraising data to see what the median gift level for their organization is and the number of donors that populate it.
• Reallocate solicitation resources to engagement, donor relationships, and stewardship based on identified donor segments, like mid-level donors. Coordinate these activities with your organizational calendar and develop different messages to become more personalized as you segment by annual, mid-level, and major givers. To get a better picture of your mid-level supporters, head to Demographics.
• Rely on donor-centered programming. This begins with seeing your organization through the eyes of the donor and not as you believe the current, prospective, or lapsed donors see you.
• Designate some of your team members as mid-level officers with large portfolios of mid-level donors and prospects. These officers should serve as a primary point of contact between a donor and your organization. This team may be major giving staff in training as they are introduced to the fundamental concepts of moves management and prospecting.
• Include mid-level prospects in the portfolios of major gift officers. For organizations that want to increase the transition of donors from the mid-level to major giving, this places relationship building at the core and stewards those supporters.
1 2018, Sea Change Strategies, The Missing Middle – Part Two