Mid-Level Donors: Get ’em, Grow ’em, Keep ’em
3. Create benefits for joining the society.
The benefits can be a combination of tangibles and intangibles. Tangible benefits include certificates, decals, lapel pins and medallions, while intangibles can be recognition in an annual report or other publication, a society-member page on your Web site, or invitations to special events.
“The benefits should be personal and tied to specific levels of commitment to drive larger gifts,” Edmonds said.
4. Develop an invitation series.
Promote the program to existing donors via an annual invitation series. Ideally, use a three-step invitation campaign including an original invitation and two follow-up appeals. Terpstra said the best targets are higher-value donors that have not reached major-giving status.
“Timing is also important,” Edmonds added. “You should mail first then follow up no later than three weeks after the original mailing.”
The invitation should emphasize the importance of the donor’s support and show how her generous gift is directly helping people in need. Donors today want to know that their gifts have real impact.
5. Send a special acknowledgement to mid-level club members.
Thank donors promptly! Send out acknowledgements within one week of gift receipt. Make personal phone calls to welcome donors to the club. Gently remind donors of the next level of commitment in the club and emphasize again the real impact of their gifts.
6. Promote the giving club throughout your fundraising programs.
Include a giving-society insert in select renewal campaigns and acknowledgements to selected renewing donors. Edmonds also suggested creating a giving-society Web page — include the URL for this page on all giving-society renewal efforts and link to it from the homepage.
“Remember to promote the giving levels in your newsletters,” Terpstra added.
7. Maintain and grow your program.
Continue to reach out to prospects that are in your regular renewal program. Cultivate existing club members through an ongoing, long-term communications plan to keep them engaged and encourage increased giving. Invite previous members to rejoin the club. And tailor your communications to this key audience of mid-level donors to maximize response and retention.