10 Success Factors of Mid-Level Giving, Moves Management
FACT: Mid-level giving programs—everyone agrees they are important.
FACT: Mid-level giving programs—everyone does them differently.
FACT: Mid-level giving programs—there are many, many moving parts to good strategies.
FACT: Mid-level giving programs—if you don’t have one at your organization, you really are leaving significant money on the table.
In 2015, several nonprofit direct-marketing leaders got together and talked about the lack of benchmarking and collaboration relative to “mid-level giving programs.” And, one of the reasons we have a lack of benchmarking focus is that there are just so many different ways organizations think through, track and even set goals for mid-level giving. So, this small group kept talking, and before they knew it, there was a meeting of the following 16 organizations that all wanted to talk through their mid-level programs, share challenges and successes, and learn from each other:
- American Diabetes Association
- Arbor Day Foundation
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Catholic Relief Services
- Compassion International
- Mercy Corps
- The Nature Conservancy
- Oxfam America
- Partners In Health
- Project HOPE
- Save the Children
- Sierra Club
- The Humane Society of the United States
- World Wildlife Fund
In October 2015, some amazing collaboration happened. The organizations above came together. It is highly likely that I mentioned this in a prior blog post, but what happened last week at the DMA Nonprofit Federation conference in Washington, D.C. is that six of these organizations volunteered to spend three hours with conference attendees around this topic. Similar to the large summit in October, I had the privilege of facilitating this session. There were an estimated 750 attendees at the two-day conference and nearly 200 of them were in our three-hour session. That told us that the topic of mid-level giving is really important and something that we need more of across our seminars, publications and conferences.
As mentioned above, there is a lot involved with a mid-level giving program. But half of the three-hour session focused on “moves management.” Here are the key takeaways from our discussion. (If you want to view materials from the meeting, email me.)
• Most of the programs defined mid-level giving with a floor of $1,000 and major giving as typically starting at $10,000.
• Each of the six programs reviewed in detail have goals and expectations for movement of donors into major-giving relationships, and the staff that runs the mid-level programs also was responsible for all direct marketing. Not a surprise, but what is a surprise? While this is an integral part of the direct-marketing team’s responsibilities, it has been talked about very little at direct-marketing gatherings. (We’re changing that starting now.)
• There was a mix of mature programs and new programs, along with a mix of programs perceived to be growing or stalled.
• One of the key outcomes of the larger Mid-Level Giving Summit in October of last year was that the “type” of program across the 16 organizations was different, and this was a big topic last week as well. There were three classifications:
- The program really is run like a “senior direct response” program and has many elements similar to the core direct-marketing program for the organization.
- The program really is run like a “junior major giving” program and has many aspects that mirror higher-end communication and personal touches.
- The program is a “hybrid” of the above types. In other words, there are high-touch elements (concierge programs, relationship managers with caseloads, etc.), plus the program leverages versions of the best direct-marketing touches in the mass market/core program.
• Moves management was perceived to be the key focus area that helped a program succeed or struggle. However, none of the 16 organizations actually felt their moves management was working exactly the way they wanted. In going through the areas of success (and challenge), the group agreed that 10 components were critical to successful moves management when it came to moving people from core programs into mid-level programs and upward into major-donor programs. Those are outlined next.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.