Mid-level donors are essential to the success of any fundraising organization. They provide a much-needed financial bridge between small donors and major gifts, and they offer a great opportunity to engage potential major donors. A key part of your mid-level donor strategy is to acquire new midlevel donors.
Here are six ways to attract mid-level donors:
1. Define your target audience.
The first step in attracting mid-level donors is to clearly define your target audience.
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What are their interests?
- Their needs?
- What is their giving history?
- What is their relationship to your organization?
- What is their connection to other donors?
- What is their capacity to give?
Asking these questions will help you get a better understanding of your midlevel donor audience so that you can cultivate relationships with them effectively. Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can develop strategies for reaching them most effectively.
2. Create a compelling case for support.
Your next step is to create a compelling case for support that speaks directly to your target audience’s interests and needs. What are you raising money for? Why is it important? How will their donation make a difference? Be sure to answer these questions in your case for support so that potential donors can easily see how their gift will make an impact.
Start with Impact
The first step is to make sure that your case focuses on impact. Mid-level donors want to know that their gifts are making a difference, so be specific about the difference that their gifts are making. For example, if you’re raising money for a new education program, don’t just talk about how the program will benefit students; tell a story about a specific student whose life will be changed by the program. When donors see the difference their gifts are making in people’s lives, they’re more likely to continue supporting your organization.
Make it Personalized
Secondly, your case for support should be personalized. This doesn’t mean that you need to write a different case for each donor, but you should make an effort to segment your donor base and tailor your messaging accordingly. For example, if you’re raising money for an arts organization, you might segment your donor base by art form (painting, dance, music, etc.) and then craft specific cases for each group that highlights the impact their gifts will have on that particular art form. By personalizing your case for support, you’ll show donors that you understand their interests and preferences—and that you’re more likely to cultivate a lasting relationship with them.
Keep it Simple
Finally, remember to keep your case for support simple. Mid-level donors are busy people who don’t have time to wade through pages of text; they want to know quickly and easily how their gifts will make a difference. So focus on communicating the most important points clearly and concisely. Use short paragraphs and bullet points wherever possible, and avoid using jargon or technical language that might turn donors off. If you can capture the essence of your case in one page or less, you’re on the right track.
Start by focusing on impact; then make sure your case is personalized and easy to understand; and finally, keep it simple. This will help you when it’s time to ask them for money. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing a case for support that mid-level donors can’t resist!
3. Use social media effectively.
Social media is a great way to reach potential donors and build relationships with them. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your fundraising stories, updates, and appeals with potential donors. Just be sure not to bombard them with too many messages or you risk turning them off altogether!
As a nonprofit, finding new donors can be a constant challenge. While traditional methods like direct mail and cold calling may still bring in donations, tapping into the power of social media can greatly expand your potential donor base. One valuable tool for nonprofit professionals is LinkedIn, a social network popular among professionals and business leaders. To find new potential donors on LinkedIn, start by considering the type of donor you are looking for; are they high-level executives or mid-level professionals? Next, search for individuals by job titles or industries that align with your nonprofit’s mission. Once you have compiled a list of promising profiles, connect with them directly through personalized messages or join relevant industry or philanthropy related groups to network and engage with potential donors online. By utilizing LinkedIn’s search capabilities and networking opportunities, nonprofit organizations can easily find and connect with new donors.
4. Plan strategic cultivation events.
Another great way to attract mid-level donors is to plan strategic cultivation events that will give them an opportunity to learn more about your organization and its work firsthand. Invite potential donors to an event like a behind-the-scenes tour, VIP reception, or special preview event and then follow up afterwards with information about how they can get involved further.
Galas are the most formal type of donor event, and they’re often used to raise money for a specific cause or project. To make sure your guests have a good time (and keep coming back), focus on creating an elegant atmosphere and serving delicious food and drink. And don’t forget the entertainment! A live band or DJ can really help get the party started.
Dinners are more intimate than galas, which makes them ideal for engaging your top donors in meaningful conversations about your work. Make sure the food is top-notch, and consider hiring a professional photographer to capture candid moments throughout the evening. These are often very successful at retaining midlevel donors.
3. Cocktail parties
Cocktail parties are perfect for networking and building relationships with potential donors. To make sure your guests mix and mingle, set up a photo booth or host a fun activity like tarot card readings or henna tattoos. And don’t forget the signature cocktails! They’ll help create a festive atmosphere and give your guests something to talk about.
4. Benefactor breakfasts
Benefactor breakfasts are relatively informal events that are typically used to thank donors for their support or update them on recent successes. Since they’re usually held during weekday mornings, it’s important to keep the speeches short and sweet so that your guests can get back to their busy schedules. And make sure the coffee is strong!
5. House parties
House parties are intimate gatherings that are held in a donor’s home (hence the name). They’re typically used to introduce new donors to your work or thank existing donors for their support. To make sure everyone feels comfortable, start with an icebreaker activity like introducing everyone by sharing one interesting fact about themselves. Then move on to cocktails and appetizers, followed by speeches from you and/or other members of your organization. It’s also another way to visit with midlevel donors without going to their house.
5. Identify and cultivate your most promising prospects.
It’s also important to identify and cultivate your most promising prospects so that you can focus your efforts where they’ll have the most impact. Start by looking at factors like giving history, ability, interest, willingness, and timing when evaluating potential prospects. From there, you can prioritize which prospects should receive more personal attention from you and your team.
Many organizations add midlevel donor prospects into the caseload of midlevel donor reps to help upgrade donors into the midlevel segment.
6. Make the ask!
Many organizations are hesitant to ask for donations outright, opting instead for a more subtle approach. But the truth is that most people expect nonprofits to ask for money, and they won’t be turned off by a direct request. In fact, they may be more likely to give if they know exactly what their donation will be used for. So don’t be afraid to ask—just be sure to do it in a respectful way.
Mid-level donors are an important group for nonprofits striving to diversify their donor base and increase overall fundraising totals.