Upgrading Mid-Level Donors With a Smart Strategy
A looming question that hangs over the heads of many nonprofit organizations is one that goes along the lines of… “How can I get our mid-level donors to continue to give, or even upgrade their giving?”
A healthy nonprofit ecosystem relies on recurring donors — ones that give as much as they possibly can to the organizations they support because they are passionate about the missions those organizations stand for.
During the “2020 ANA DC Nonprofit Conference” last week, I attended a session that sounded pretty interesting: “Breaking Beyond the Basics of Mid-Level Fundraising.” The session featured insights from Tiffany Wollin, senior manager of mid-level giving at Doctors Without Borders, and Seiko Yoshitake, associate VP of Anne Lewis Strategies.
A theme that I observed throughout the session: strategizing smart.
The Rule of 5
We all know it, and we all feel it: Almost every nonprofit experiences work overload. Each of your staff members have a jar filled with tasks and responsibilities that they need to complete on a day-to-day basis. And because staff time is so limited, nonprofits need to be better at optimizing on that time.
The session highlighted a strategy called “The Rule of Five,” which is about developing a piece of content (e.g. newsletter, direct mail piece) and repurposing it at least five times. So the next time you create a piece of content, think about how you can leverage that piece across packages and across different channels.
Now that you’re planning ways to repurpose your content and making sure it’s optimized for whichever channel you’re using, it’s time to think about how to package it. For example, while heavy copy works well for direct mail, email doesn’t work the same way. If you adopt the same strategy to your email as you do for your direct mail, you can bet that those emails will not get read. Instead, for email, place less copy and add more images — perhaps even style it as an infographic.
Remember, you have to make sure your audience receives a donor-centric experience for each channel, but also make sure that communication in every channel is consistent. You want to make sure your donor feels connected in all the channels that they communicate with your organization with.
Once a donor begins giving to your organization on a semi-regular basis, the work doesn’t stop there; it’s only just beginning. Having a solid donor cultivation strategy is the key to building the donor relationship — and maintaining the donors’ continued support through the years.
Here are some key tips I learned from the session:
- Show donors where their donations are going and how those donations are helping the mission.
- Give them more details on how they can better give to the organization, but in a way that better resonates with them. Show them how different levels of giving ($10 versus $1,000) can make a bigger impact.
- Don’t minimize communication with mid-level donors. Talk to them like financially-savvy donors.
- Give mid-level donors some kind of special treatment (e.g. a poster) to make them feel a part of the community.