Case Study of a Mid-level Donor Program
The success of this work can be seen in the numbers. Our first targeted Stakeholder Briefing campaign for these donors increased the average gift by 43 percent and provided $425,000 more net income to the annual program revenue at a cost of less than 4 percent. Specialized campaigns, mixed with versioned appeals from the standard program, are providing these donors with deeper, more compelling information about the work of the organization and spurring larger, more frequent support of the mission.
Additionally, donors are engaging, through staff and a variety of channels, at higher levels than ever before.
3. Donor migration: As more donors graduated from the mid-level program to the major-gifts program, the need to standardize the movement of donors from one pool to another became apparent. We established business rules for donor migration — both up and down the giving ladder — to ensure seamless movement from the donor perspective. Because the mid-level program is a static group for which a donor must qualify, we had to establish qualification as well as disqualification requirements. Donor migration currently is done on a quarterly basis, and the ultimate goal is to have this happen monthly.
Additionally, in developing these migration rules, we worked to foster more collaborative efforts among all organization staff, addressing such issues as “silos” and “donor ownership” while ultimately meeting the personal requirements of our donors.
4. Staffing: The organization already had made the great commitment to staff up in order to accommodate the needs of this emerging donor group that was not quite ready for a major-gift relationship yet did warrant having a direct link into the organization via the development associate. Development associates are on the front lines of the mid-level donor relationship, managing a portfolio of up to 750 donors with whom they communicate regularly (development associates in this case do not make solicitations; they simply serve as the face of the organization to their donors).