You have a cause you believe in, and a group of donors who have invested in your work. But, are you connecting with them effectively and partnering to maximize their potential for partnership? There is a major opportunity to serve mid-level donors better.
Organizations often focus fundraising efforts on relationship development with major donors, which offers good return on investment of time. After the major donor program is established, the focus shifts to “everyone else”. This group is likely engaged with social media, regular emails, and an occasional solicitation letter.
That leaves mid-range givers stuck in the middle without much attention. They may not have the capacity of major donors, yet more than a monthly or general donor, so finding a unique way to serve them will take intentionality.
The pandemic pushed us all online, and, depending on the charity, many donors were engaged differently and more deliberately digitally. According to a 2021 study by Sea Change Strategies, many organizations’ mid-level files grew considerably in 2020. Now, as things find a new normal, it seems many are returning to pre-pandemic practices. I encourage you to pause for a moment between the pre-pandemic normal and the next normal to determine what new methods you can maintain, particularly with intermediate level givers.
Engaging with the Intermediate Group
In-person meetings with mid-level donors, while desirable, are likely not scalable nor good stewardship of time. Yet lumping these donors in with a mass donor system is not serving them well either.
There is an opportunity to develop a distinct mid-level donor plan, a hybrid of a major donor approach and a direct response effort. A successful program should include a balance of interaction and segmentation alongside appreciation of the unique ability for middle givers to be champions for your charity.
- Integrate personal connections. Calls, texts, emails, notes and online group meetings. Try the 5-10-10 model. 5 calls, 10 texts, 10 emails each day. If this is too much, find a number that works for you. Make it a discipline.
- Engage around interests. Survey mid-level donors to find out what area of your work they are passionate about. Focus your communication on their concerns and interests.
- Equip to invite friends. Mid-level donors indicate a reliance on family and friends for information on charities they support. Ask your donors to share their involvement with your work. Equip them with the information, anecdotes, and resources to be champions for your ministry.
Do not overlook the mid-level donors. They deserve intentional communication and attention. They are loyal, passionate, and they can be great champions for your ministry.