Mid-Level Donor Strategy – Identify, Cultivate, and Engage
Your nonprofit may spend significant time and effort cultivating and soliciting major donors, but do you spend the same effort on your organization’s mid-level donors? Most nonprofits don’t know who their mid-level donors are and don’t have a plan on how to communicate and solicit gifts from these donors. As you read this article, we…
Your nonprofit may spend significant time and effort cultivating and soliciting major donors, but do you spend the same effort on your organization’s mid-level donors?
Most nonprofits don’t know who their mid-level donors are and don’t have a plan on how to communicate and solicit gifts from these donors. As you read this article, we hope you can use fundraising tools to determine your nonprofit’s mid-level donors and create communication and fundraising plans to encourage more participation and significant gifts.
Nonprofits define mid-level donors based on their organization and the donor base. Depending on the size and type of your organization, you may receive $1,000 or more in annual donations from these supporters. For bigger organizations, it may go up to a significant donation amount of over $9000.
Mid-level donors may fall to the wayside because their one-time gifts may be smaller. Unlike major donors, they aren’t your top donors and don’t give significant amounts all at once.
Why are they vital to nonprofits?
Mid-level donors have a stronger and longer-term connection with your organization than most. These mid-level donors are more likely to belong to your loyal donor base and volunteer for event committees or join your board of directors.
Your nonprofit must focus on strengthening relationships with these donors and offer them exciting and unique opportunities to be more involved.
How to Identify Mid-Level Donors for Your Nonprofit?
Your donor database or CRM should play an important role in helping identify mid-level donors. Based on your criteria for these donors, you should segment your donor records and find out who these donors are.
For example, Donorbox Donor Management lets you easily add filters to your supporter base according to donation amounts, the number of donations, donation frequency, time frame, and more (shown below). You can set the minimum and maximum donation amount limit to identify these donors for your organization.
Our powerful donor management system also lets you create reports based on your donor data. This should further help you create and pull reports that will help research various donor levels.
Create a report of annual donations, determine how much your donors give annually, and use a bell curve to find donors in the middle.
As you determine your mid-level donors, you’ll want to ensure they provide enough funds to afford specialized treatment. More time, communication, and personalized appeal take revenue away from your organization. You must choose a reasonable amount of donors and gift amounts that ensure your organization’s financial success.
Many of your organization’s mid-level donors may give recurring gifts. These donors have already shown a long-term interest in your organization. Once you remove those donors from your report, you’ll be left with other donors who give a similar annual amount. Your nonprofit must create a strategy and moves management plan to determine communication and fundraising goals for both groups.
6 Crucial Strategies to Cultivate, Engage, and Retain Mid-Level Donors
Once you’ve determined your organization’s mid-level donor base, there are several ways you can strengthen relationships and encourage more participation.
1. Define mid-level donors ripe for upgrading
The list of your nonprofit’s mid-level donors may be significant, so it’s vital you choose a workable number to cultivate. You only have so much time and resources, so do your best to determine which donors have the best return on investment.
Donorbox lets nonprofits create donor overviews, new donors’ reports, and LYBUNT reports with its reporting templates. These reports give you a better view of how these donors give and participate in your organization’s activities.
Donor participation can help you find donors with the most interest in your nonprofit. Supporters that give recurring gifts can be counted on, but other actions show long-term interest.
Are any of your nonprofit’s mid-level donors volunteers?
Have they brought other community members to an event?
Do they have good relationships within the community and can help you spread the word? Will they be comfortable fundraising for your organization?
Can a mid-level donor have more giving ability if approached in the right way?
You should add this information to your donors’ profiles regardless of their gift amounts.
2. Create targeted communication plans
Personalized communication is vital to build solid donor relationships. You must create communication plans and strategies to connect with these donors.
The best way to do this is by segmenting mid-level donors even further. You’ve already split these donors by donation amount. Next, you can segment donors by their interest in your nonprofit’s programs, event and volunteer activities, and donation recurrences. Listen to this podcast episode to learn the why and how of donor segmentation.
After segmenting donors, you can personalize appeals and other communication pieces you send. Learn how to engage your donors through personalized communications in this tutorial by Donorbox –
Pro tip: If possible, use a prospect research tool for these donors. Think of them as having unexplored potential for turning into more significant supporters for your nonprofit. The more you tap into these donor groups, the more you’ll discover about their abilities.
3. Create a brand for this donor type
Once you’ve segmented donors into specific donor types, you can develop a brand for each group. This helps these donors connect better with your organization. They’d know that you value their contributions and have created separate programs to address and acknowledge them.
You can create a specific name, logo, and content for this donor type. Add this branding to your website and create a fundraising campaign that includes branded mail, email, and social media appeals.
4. Keep in touch, not just for donations
If the only communication you have with your mid-level donors are annual appeals and event invitations, you may lose many.
Instead, you should create a plan to connect with these donors throughout the year; use it to strengthen relationships and schedule time to send personalized thank-you cards after they attend an event.
Give them a call during a fundraising slow time. You shouldn’t use the call to ask for a gift but to set up a tour of your facility or a face-to-face meeting.
If you get the chance to meet with the donor, ask them about their interest in your organization’s programs and their feedback on how you can improve an event or donor outreach.
If a facility tour and face-to-face meeting aren’t possible, you can also send these donors surveys to gain their feedback. You may also take this chance to introduce them to other ways they can support your nonprofit.
Pro tip: Whatever your communication type and outcome, add notes to your donor database. Donorbox makes it easy for you to do it. Just select the communication channel and direction and add your notes for the whole team to track in the future.
5. Offer exclusive access
Another way to excite mid-level donors is to offer more perks and benefits for their gifts. Your nonprofit can do this with tours of your facility, special events, and face-to-face communication with board members.
You can also provide gifts and appreciation during annual events. These can include better event seats, free parking, and recognition.
You can start a membership program targeting these donors and their interests. Offer perks that would hold their attention and encourage them to sign up. This way you get to retain these donors in a more effective way.
6. Give reasons to give (and help) more
Now that you’ve spent time getting to know your mid-level donors and building these relationships, you have a better idea of who may be willing and able to give more. You also know what programs and activities interest them most.
Encourage mid-level donors to give more by convincing them to give recurring gifts that add up to a larger annual gift. You can also ask mid-level donors with a significant online following to create a peer-to-peer campaign and use their influence to raise more funds for the organization. You can request a more significant one-time donation with descriptions of how their gift can help the organization.
Let them know all the different ways they can engage with your organization, help further the mission, and support your cause. Encourage them to help you reach more people, volunteer for your programs, and raise funds for upcoming capital projects.
When they feel how genuinely you need their support and that they’re an important part of your growth, more of them would come forward to help.
After reading this article, we hope you’re ready to prospect, cultivate, solicit, and engage mid-level donors within your organization. A quality database can help you segment donors by donation amount, and reports can help your nonprofit gain deeper insight into donor participation. Relationships with mid-level donors can entice greater long-term participation and more significant gifts.
Read more donor management blogs on our Nonprofit Blog. You’ll find many other interesting and insightful topics over there to help improve your fundraising and donor management efforts. Subscribe to our newsletter if you’d like to receive the best Donorbox resources (including guides, checklists, samples, podcast episodes, and more) in your inbox every month.
Donorbox makes it easier for you to manage donors and personalize donation appeals for all donor types. We also have a plethora of simple-to-use and affordable fundraising features that enabled you to raise more money for your nonprofit. Visit our website to learn about our features and sign up for free to get started.
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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.