Your mid-level donors are usually the ones you can count on when your special appeals and projects. But are you giving them the special treatment they deserve?
Creating a mid-level donation program can recognize the important role these donors play while maximizing net revenue for future fundraising, according to Lynn Edmonds, president, and Bryan Terpstra, vice president of fundraising, both from Holliston, MA-based LW Robbins Associates, and Matt Panos, vice president of ministry partnerships and resources at Phoenix-based Food for the Hungry.
They presented seven steps to growing a mid-level program at the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference, in National Harbor, Md.
- Create a distinctive name. If you have the budget and the time, put thought into a separate mid-level donation brand identity that ties into the mission. The visual brand and logo can serve as a cue to the mid-level affiliation.
- Determine giving levels. You can create different levels that coordinate with donations. Make sure that the levels are distinguishable, but still mesh with the organization’s overall brand. Thank the donors within the levels but always encourage moving up.
- Create benefits for mid-level donors. Have a combination of intangible benefits, such as recognition in communication materials, and tangible benefits, such as a pin or certificate.
- Develop a strong invitation and renewal series. Remind donors about renewing within their giving level or a step higher. Invite high value donors that have not reached the mid-level donation to consider renewing in that group.
- Customize the acknowledgements. Thank these special donors promptly and as personal as a budget allows. Try to enlist volunteers to make personal phone calls.
- Promote mid-level giving. Incorporate mid-level giving information in some renewal campaigns, including the benefits of being in the program. Try and mention the mid-level donations in newsletters and on the Web site.
- Send out special appeals. Test some exclusive mailings just to the mid-level giving donors. Remember to speak to the special relationship to cultivate mid-level renewal.