A mid-level giving program is a great fundraising strategy for engaging with mid-tier donors and building a pipeline to major gifts. In this post we’ll cover strategies and processes for scaling your mid-level giving program at your nonprofit.
This is part three of the #midlevelgiving series on #WiserWithWisely. Part one covers the basics of what mid-level giving is and why a mid-level giving program strategy is important. In part two we covered how to start a mid-level giving program and how to steward and solicit mid-level donors.
If you’re here after reading part two you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, but don’t worry. This post is going to help you figure out the processes you need to start a mid-level giving program, even if you have limited resources.
Limited Resources…no problem, we’ve got you covered!
One of the benefits of mid-level giving programs is that you can build and grow them at scale. You can customize the strategy and audience size to the resources you currently have, including staff resources. You may not be able to hire someone to run the program right at the beginning – and that’s okay!
Your mid-level giving program is going to pair transactional mass marketing with personal touches, helping you foster closer donor relationships, and build a major gift pipeline, without spending a lot of time meeting with donors or hosting events. If you’re worried about producing expensive mail packages, don’t be! You can put together a really nice mid-level giving direct mail strategy, with personal touches, without breaking the budget.
With the right process in place, one relationship manager can handle a couple hundred mid-level donors.
Process is Key
You don’t have time, or capacity, to re-invent the wheel for your mid-level giving program! And any new process may not be efficient and can actually cause backlogs. Work with the fundraising processes you already have in place and make those processes work for mid-level donors.
Here’s an example of adjusting your process for mid-level donors:
Don’t come up with a whole new gift acknowledgement process for mid-level donors, instead use the process you already have in place and adjust it for your mid-level giving program. Send out the same gift acknowledgement and receipt package, but follow up mid-level donations with a personal thank you call.
Set aside time each week to connect with mid-level donors by making stewardship calls or other personal outreach. This includes booking time with your donors in advance! You’ll maximize your time by knowing you will actually speak to someone and not get voicemail and your donors will feel prepared for the call as well.
Use Your CRM
Make sure you use a CRM to manage your mid-level donor relationships. Not only is tracking through your CRM key for you and your colleagues to manage the mid-level giving program, recording information in your CRM will also help proof your mid-level program against staff turnover.
Outside of tracking appeals and donor touchpoints, your CRM can help manage your mid-level giving program by helping you set donor journeys and remind you when it’s time to act so you never miss a step.
Wisely can also help you manage your mid-level giving portfolio. Wisely integrates with your CRM to help manage donor cycles and lift revenue, using AI to optimize your donor portfolio.
Integrate Mid-level and Annual Giving
You can lower costs from economies of scale by combining these two programs where it makes sense. Your mid-level donor group is going to be much smaller than your mass direct mail audience, so the mail packages may be more expensive to produce. Talk to your printer or your direct mail agency and see if you can create a mid-level version of mass market mail packages and print them at the same time.
This will save you money on printing the mid-level packages separately, and it will also save you time as you won’t need to put together two separate direct mail campaigns.
Personalizing Communication for Mid-level Donors
You don’t need to go all out with multi-page reports and using live stamps to solicit mid-level donors if you don’t have the resources.
Here are some simple things you can do to make a mail package special for mid-level donors
Handwritten margin notes or lift notes from relationship managers
Hand addressed envelopes
Hand signed holiday cards
Adding the name and contact information of their relationship manager on every package
Engage Mid-level Donors Online
It can be less expensive and easier to do some things online. Just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it can’t be personal or feel special. Especially online where you have access to lots of custom fields.
Here are some ways to engage with your mid-level donors online:
Just Get Started!
Starting a mid-level giving program can be overwhelming, but remember you just need to get good enough to get going! Start small and grow your mid-level giving program over time. If you’re at a small nonprofit, don’t compare your mid-level giving program to big organizations, focus on what you can do to start a mid-level giving program at your nonprofit and grow it over time at scale.
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