Mid-Level Donors: Get ’em, Grow ’em, Keep ’em
Do you need help developing long-term relationships with your mid-level donors? Do you want to launch some special mailings and tailored communications for these high-level donors but don’t know where to begin? Or is your current mid-level program in dire need of some fresh ideas?
Several organizations have made a big impact on the bottom line by attracting donors to the mid-level and by maintaining long-term, fruitful relationships with them, L.W. Robbins Associates President Lynn Edmonds said at Blackbaud’s 2008 Conference for Nonprofits held last month in South Carolina.
Bryan Terpstra, vice president of client services at Robbins, added that, “A big focus is on the creative approach used to attract the mid-level donors and how this differs from the approach used for other segments of the donor file.”
Terpstra presented a variety of strategic and creative executions that fundraisers should apply to their specific fundraising programs.
The speakers agreed there are several reasons why nonprofits should invest time, resources and money into mid-level giving programs, including:
* It helps generate significantly more gross and net revenue for mail programs.
* It allows an organization to pinpoint and effectively communicate to its best donors.
* It develops a pool of individuals that can be counted on for extraordinary expenses or projects and for special appeals.
They also offered these seven essential steps for growing a mid-level donor club:
1. Create a distinctive name and brand.
The name should be unique and meaningful. Terpstra said a good rule of thumb is to tie in the organization’s mission. “Create a logo treatment as a visual cue to boost awareness, recruitment and retention in all fundraising efforts,” Edmonds added.
2. Determine the giving levels of your program.
Giving clubs can serve as bridges between renewal programs and major giving. “It’s crucial to make donors feel like they’re part of a special group and appreciated within their level,” Terpstra said. “But also encourage them to aspire to higher giving levels by showing additional benefits.”