Get Them Involved Emotionally

April 11, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Making mid-level donors feel like an active part of your organization can be the key to fostering stronger donor engagement, improving your bottom line and donor outlook on their contributions.

During a session at last year’s Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in National Harbor, Md., Lisa Maska, CFRE and partner at Lautman, Maska, Neill, & Company and Josh Adler, director of individual giving at The Actors Fund of America, gave several ideas on engaging mid-level donors to upgrade their giving and commit to your organization.

    They suggested in the presentation “Mid-Level Magic How to Conjure Upgrades from Your Mass Market Donors:”

  • To borrow a line from the popular musical, Hamilton, the pair suggested that donors want to be in “the room where it happens.” Creating a top-tier giving society and recognizing members of various giving levels publically generates interest makes donors feel involved personally.
  • Engaging donors more personally through email acknowledgements for gifts more than $1,000 and handwritten notes for gifts exceeding $5,000 allow donors to have a tangible idea of the difference they make through their support.
  • Another approach the Actors Fund found successful was using certificates as a cultivation effort. By giving “awards” to donors for their continual support, donors were more likely to increase their gifts, leading to The Actors Fund receiving 13 gifts of more than $1,000, totaling $48,500 in addition to a $30,000 gift from a $10,000+ donor.
  • Direct response can be used to enhance mid-level and major gift work. Educating donors and reporting back shows impact and engages donors in ways beyond just writing a check.
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