Mid-level Donor Strategy: Your Ultimate Guide

Advanced, Donor Relations, Guides, Mid-level Donors

By Jeremy Reis

As a nonprofit organization, acquiring and retaining donors is crucial to ensuring financial stability and reaching your goals. While large-scale donations can make a significant impact, mid-level donors also have the potential to contribute substantially to your organization’s success. But how do you create a successful strategy for attracting and retaining these mid-level donors? In this article, we will discuss ways to identify potential mid-level donors, strategies for communication and outreach, and tips for demonstrating the impact of their contributions. By creating an effective mid-level donor strategy, your nonprofit can secure long-term funding and better serve your mission.

Mid-level Donor Strategy

  1. Who are your mid-level donors?
  2. Frequently asked questions
  3. Mid-level donor caseload
  4. Cultivating your midlevel donors
  5. Mid-level donors as a part of your major donor strategy


Who are your mid-level donors?

A mid-level donor is someone who gives to a nonprofit organization, usually in the range of $1,000-$10,000 per year. They may give through monthly or quarterly donations, or they might make one large annual donation. These donors are valuable to nonprofit organizations because they provide steady and reliable funding, and they often have potential to increase their giving over time if cultivated correctly. Mid-level donors also tend to be more personally involved with the nonprofit organization than lower level donors, and therefore may become strong advocates for the cause. It is important for nonprofit organizations to identify and cultivate relationships with mid-level donors in order to have a stable source of funding for their mission.

Frequently Asked Questions About Midlevel Donors

What is a mid-level donor?

In the nonprofit world, mid-level donors are individuals or organizations who donate more than the average donor, but less than major sponsors or donors. In terms of dollar value, mid-level donations typically fall between $1,000 and $10,000. These donations have a big impact on nonprofit organizations. Mid-level donors often have personal and/or professional connections to the nonprofit’s cause, making their donations both financially and emotionally valuable. Nonprofit organizations can cultivate relationships with mid-level donors by consistently communicating with them about the impact their donations have made and involving them in decision-making processes. By cultivating these relationships, nonprofit organizations can secure reliable sources of funding and support from their mid-level donors.

Why are mid-level donors important?

Mid-level donors are important because their ongoing support can help nonprofit organizations plan for the long term and maintain a strong financial foundation. As a nonprofit, it’s important to have a diverse donor base that includes not only small one-time contributors, but also larger donors who can provide consistent support. However, many organizations overlook the importance of a mid-level program, those donors who make regular contributions at a certain level each year. These individuals are often overlooked because they may not make as large of a financial impact as high-level donors, but they can provide valuable long-term stability to an organization. Mid-level donors also tend to be more engaged with the nonprofit and their cause, making them likely to promote and advocate for the organization within their own communities. Therefore, it’s important for nonprofit organizations to cultivate and appreciate their mid-level donors in addition to focusing on high-level giving. In the long run, this strategy can lead to a healthy and stable funding base for the nonprofit.

How do you create a mid-level donor program?

Creating a mid-level giving program is one of the most effective ways to raise money for your organization. But how do you create a program that will attract and retain mid-level donors? The key is to design a program that offers benefits that are commensurate with the level of giving, and to market the program in a way that resonates with potential donors.

1. Define what you want your mid-level giving program to achieve. What are your fundraising goals? What kinds of benefits do you want to offer mid-level donors? Answering these questions will help you determine the structure of your program.

2. Decide what benefits you will offer mid-level donors. These benefits should be commensurate with the level of giving, and should be attractive enough to encourage donors to give at the mid-level. Some examples of benefits you might offer include exclusive events, VIP treatment, behind-the-scenes access, or recognition on your website or in your annual report.

3. Create a marketing plan for your mid-level giving program. How will you reach potential donors? What kind of messaging will you use? Will you use print, digital, or both? Answering these questions will help you create an effective marketing plan.

4. Implement your mid-level giving program and track its progress. Make sure you are constantly monitoring and evaluating your program to ensure it is achieving its goals. Be prepared to make changes as necessary so that your program is as successful as possible.

A well-designed mid-level giving program can be a great way to raise money for your organization. By offering benefits that are attractive to potential donors and marketing your program effectively, you can maximize its success. And by constantly monitoring and evaluating your program, you can make sure it continues to meet the needs of your organization and its donors.


Mid-level Donor Caseload

As a nonprofit organization, it is important to have a diverse donor base that includes both high-level and mid-level donors. A mid-level donor representative is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with these mid-level donors, who are typically individuals or families who give a set yearly donation in the range of $1,000 to $10,000. But where do you start in creating a strong and engaged caseload of mid-level donors? First, review your current database for potential mid-level donor prospects and create a list of midlevel donors and midlevel donor prospects. Next, create a strategic outreach plan that includes targeted mailings, personalized phone or email communication, and invitations to events or programs related to their interests. Finally, make sure to maintain regular communication with your mid-level donors and update them on the impact of their contributions. With these steps, you can build a successful caseload of engaged mid-level donors for your nonprofit organization.

How do I find midlevel donors in our donor file?

Mid-level donors are an important part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. They are typically more engaged than lower-level donors and can provide a steadier stream of revenue. However, finding mid-level donors can be a challenge, especially if your nonprofit’s donor file is large. In this section, we’ll share some tips on how to find mid-level donors in your donor file.

1. Segment Your Donor File

The first step is to segment your donor file by giving level. This will allow you to see which donors are giving at the mid-level and identify potential mid-level donors who may be ready to move up.

2. Look for Recurring Gifts

It isn’t just about those who can make a large gift, recurring gifts are a good indicator of engagement and interest, so look for donors who have given multiple gifts or have set up recurring donations. These donors are more likely to be interested in deepening their relationship with your organization.

3. Check Giving History

Take a look at the giving history of each donor in your file. If a donor has been gradually increasing their giving over time, they may be ready to make another mid-level gift or a major gift. Conversely, if a donor has decreased their giving, they may no longer be interested in supporting your organization at the mid-level.

4. Identify Motivations

Finally, try to identify what motivates each donor to give. What issues or causes are they passionate about? What type of communication do they respond best to? Knowing what motivates a donor will help you better engage them and ask them for support at the appropriate level. Some donors may be ready for a larger gift and by providing them larger gift ranges, it might be the right time for them to make a huge impact.

Finding mid-level donors can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort because of the ongoing support they can provide. Use these tips to find mid-level donors in your nonprofit’s donor file: segment your file by giving level; look for recurring gifts; check giving history; and identify motivations. armed with this information, you’ll be well on your way to engaging and retaining mid-level donors!

Who manages mid-level donors?

Mid-level donors are a vital part of any nonprofit’s donor base, and they should be managed accordingly. But the question is, who should manage mid-level donors? Is it best to have a dedicated representative, or can this responsibility be shared among different staff members?

There are pros and cons to both having a dedicated representative and sharing the responsibility among staff members. Let’s take a look at some of the key considerations for each approach.

Dedicated Representative

A dedicated representative can build strong relationships with mid-level donors and get to know their giving history and preferences. This knowledge can be used to tailor asks and cultivate deeper relationships that may eventually lead to major gifts. Furthermore, a dedicated representative can manage a larger caseload of mid-level donors than if the responsibility were shared among multiple staff members. However, having a dedicated representative also has its drawbacks. First, it can be expensive to add another full-time staff member, especially if the organization is small. Second, there is always the risk that the representative may move on to another position, taking all their institutional knowledge with them.

Shared Responsibility Among Staff Members

If the responsibility for managing mid-level donors is shared among staff members, there are some advantages. First, it can be less expensive than having a dedicated representative because no new staff member needs to be hired. Second, there is less risk of losing institutional knowledge if someone leaves their position because multiple people have access to that information. However, there are also some disadvantages to this approach. First, staff members may not have as much time to dedicate to each donor if they are responsible for multiple caseloads. Second, without cultivation from a dedicated representative, relationships with mid-level donors may not deepen as much over time, which could ultimately lead to fewer major gifts down the road.

Should we have a dedicated midlevel donor rep?

A recent midlevel study found that mid-level donors who are assigned a specific fundraiser to manage their relationship with the organization are much more likely to increase their giving than those who are not assigned a specific fundraiser. Furthermore, the study found that donors who are managed by a dedicated staff member or team are also more likely to leave larger gifts and bequests than those who are not managed by a dedicated staff member or team.

So, what does this mean for nonprofits? It means that if you want to maximize your donations from mid-level donors, you need to assign them to a specific fundraiser. That fundraiser should then manage all aspects of the relationship, including stewardship, communication, and solicitation. This is the best way to ensure that these important donors feel valued and appreciated, and that they continue to support your organization.

Should major gifts officers manage mid-level donors? In some organizations, this setup can work for a major gift portfolio to contain a donor population of mid-tier donors. It depends on the number of donors a staff person has to manage, if these donors are major gift prospects, and whether or not it makes sense for the donor pipeline. Some major gifts officers can handle transitioning between a high-level donor and mid-tier donors. Others may struggle with the challenge of managing mid-level donor segments.

How many donors should be on a midlevel donor rep caseload?

The number of mid-level donors that should be on a nonprofit’s caseload will vary depending on the organization’s specific fundraising strategy. We’ve found it can be helpful to have around 300-500 on each fundraiser’s caseload. This allows for sufficient individual attention while also ensuring that they have enough people to cultivate. It’s important to note that this range can vary, and the actual caseload size may vary based on individual factors such as the nonprofit’s budget or the fundraiser’s experience. Ultimately, what matters most is creating a balanced approach that allows for personalized cultivation and relationship-building with mid-level donors.


Cultivating Your Midlevel Donors

Mid-level donors are a crucial part of any fundraising operation. They provide a reliable source of income that can help an organization weather the ups and downs of the economic cycle. Moreover, mid-level donors tend to be more engaged with an organization than many other classes of donors, making them a valuable source of feedback and insight.

1. Segment Your Donor Base

One of the most important things that you can do when cultivating your mid-level donors is to segment your donor base. This means dividing your donors into groups based on factors such as giving history, relationship status, or geographic location.

Segmenting in your donor database will allow you to better understand the needs of each group and tailor your outreach accordingly. For example, if you have a group of mid-level donors who live in close proximity to each other, you might consider organizing an informal gathering where they can meet each other and learn more about your work.

On the other hand, if you have a group of mid-level donors who have recently stopped giving, you might want to reach out and see what has changed in their lives that has caused them to disengage from your organization. Segmenting your donor base will help you better understand the needs of each group so that you can customize your approach accordingly.

2. Create a System for Tracking Donor Engagement

Another important step in cultivating your mid-level donors is to create a system for tracking their engagement with your organization. This will help you identify warning signs early on and take steps to prevent further disengagement. The tracking system can also help identify mid-level prospects among your new donors. Many donor CRMs have the ability to track donor’s activities. It’s vital for your mid-level donor rep to keep the CRM up to date with points of contact and activities your mid-level donors are taking.

3. Send Personalized Communications

Instead of generic emails or mass solicitations from a direct mail campaign, take the time to send individualized messages to your mid-level donors. Thank them for their past support and let them know how their gifts have made a difference. You might also want to invite them to special events or share news about recent successes. Personalized communications will make your donors feel valued and appreciated, and they’re more likely to continue supporting your organization. Direct mail can a useful tool to help build meaningful relationships as long as it’s combined with specific strategies such as a handwritten note and sharing personal stories to make a donor feel appreciated.

4. Keep Your Mid-level Donors Informed

In addition to sending personal communications, make sure you keep your mid-level donors up to date on what’s going on at your organization. Send them a quarterly newsletter or post updates on social media. When they feel like they’re in the loop, they’ll be more likely to stay engaged with your nonprofit.

One effective way to do this is by sharing specific stories from those who have directly benefited from your nonprofit’s work. Whether it be a family who received food assistance, a student who received support for their education, or a community that was able to access clean water, these individual stories can bring the impact of your nonprofit’s work to life for mid-level donors. Not only does this give them a sense of personal connection and investment, but it also shows the various ways in which their donations have made a difference.

5. Invite Midlevel Donors to Events

Building strong relationships with these individuals is crucial, and one effective way to do so is through attending nonprofit events together. Inviting mid-level donors to these events not only shows them that they are valued and appreciated, but it also allows them to see firsthand the impact their donation has on the organization’s work. These events also provide opportunities for further discussion and potentially even additional donations.

6. Ask for Feedback

At least once a year, reach out to your mid-level donors and ask for their feedback. What do they like about your organization? What could be improved? What kind of impact are they seeing from their gifts? Asking for feedback shows that you value their opinion and want to make sure they’re happy with their involvement in your nonprofit. Plus, you might just get some valuable insights that you can use to improve your organization.

Should we visit midlevel donors for one-on-one meetings?

You want to show your appreciation for a mid-level donor’s past giving and discuss the possibility of additional support. Should you travel to meet with them in person or communicate by phone or video call instead?

The key is to know your donor and understand what method of communication will work best for them.

Pros of Mid-level Donor Visits

1. You Can Build Stronger Relationships

When you meet with donors face-to-face, you have an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with them. You can get to know them on a personal level and learn about their interests, passions, and motivations for giving. This information can be invaluable when it comes to soliciting future gifts or asking for a larger donation. At some organizations, an individual from the major donor program will visit middle donors when they’re in an area meeting with other donors in their major donor portfolio.

2. You Can Show Your Appreciation

A personal visit is also a great way to show your appreciation for a donor’s past support. When you take the time to meet with them, it sends the message that you value their contributions and that they are making a difference in your organization. This can go a long way towards building loyalty and ensuring that they continue to support your organization in the future.

3. You Can Make a Lasting Impression

Meeting with donors in person allows you to make a lasting impression on them. You can show them your facilities, introduce them to your staff, and give them a behind-the-scenes look at your organization. This type of exposure can be very impactful and may encourage them to give more generously in the future.

4. You Can Answer Any Questions They May Have

When you meet with donors one-on-one, they have an opportunity to ask you any questions they may have about your organization or their gift. This is invaluable because it gives you the chance to address any concerns they may have and ensure that they are comfortable with their decision to support you.

5. You Can Ask Them for Feedback

One-on-one meetings also provide an ideal opportunity for you to ask donors for feedback about your organization. What do they like? What could be improved? What type of programs or initiatives would they like to see in the future? Their answers can help you shape your strategy going forward and make sure that you are meeting their needs as effectively as possible.

6. Allowing Them to Feel Connected

Sometimes people need that personal touch before becoming more generous givers, visits like this allow mid-level donors opportunities feel connected which will only yield more money down the road if done correctly.

Cons of Mid-level Donor Visits

1. They Can Be Time Consuming

One of the biggest drawbacks of visiting mid-level donors is that it can be time consuming. If you have a large pool of mid-level donors, it may not be practical or feasible to meet with all of them individually. In addition, these meetings often require travel, which can add even more time to the equation.

2. They Can Be Expensive

Another downside of visiting mid-level donors is that it can be expensive. If you have limited resources, you may need to choose between meeting with mid-level donors or investing in other areas of your fundraising strategy (e .g., direct mail, online marketing, etc.).

3. There Is No Guarantee of Success

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee of success when meeting with mid-level donors face-to-face. Even if you do everything right, there’s no guarantee that the donor will agree to give more money or support your organization in any way beyond their current level of giving.

Investing in mid-level donors can be a smart strategy for any nonprofit—one that can pay off in terms of both retention and growth. Mid-level donors tend to stay longer and give more over time than those who give at lower levels, so investing in cultivating these relationships can have a big impact on your bottom line. And since mid-level donors are often overlooked in favor of major donors, there’s less competition for their attention—which means you’re more likely to stand out and build a lasting relationship.


Mid-level Donors and Your Major Donors Strategy

Mid-level donors are, quite simply, the bridge between your organization’s small donor base and its major donors. They provide the crucial link that allows your organization to move ever-closer to its fundraising goals. And, just as importantly, they play a key role in providing feedback about your organization’s programs and products.

Without a strong focus on mid-level donors, your organization risks losing out on both the financial support and the valuable feedback that these individuals can provide. So how can you ensure that mid-level donors are an integral part of your major donor strategy?

If your organization is serious about building relationships with major donors, then a comprehensive strategy must include a focus on mid-level donors. Here’s why.

1. Mid-Level Donors Are the Foundation of Your Fundraising Strategy

Think about it this way: if all you focused on was acquiring new major donors, your pool of potential donors would quickly dry up. Why? Because there are only so many people out there who are able and willing to give at that level. On the other hand, if you focus on building relationships with mid-level donors and getting them to increase their giving over time, you will have a never-ending pipeline of major donor prospects. In other words, mid-level donors are the foundation of your fundraising strategy. They provide the stability and predictability that allows you to take risks and try new things when it comes to acquiring major donors.

2. Mid-Level Donors Provide Critical Feedback

Another reason why mid-level donors are so important is that they can provide critical feedback about your organization. Major donors tend to be removed from the day-to-day operations of the organization and may not have a clear understanding of how their dollars are being spent or what impact they are having. Mid-level donors, on the other hand, usually have a more intimate knowledge of your organization and can give you valuable insights into what is working well and what needs to be improved.

3. They Can Be Cultivated Into Major Donors

While not all mid-level donors will become major donors, those who give consistently over time are more likely to make the leap. Furthermore, mid-level donors who have been properly engaged and stewarded are also more likely to make that jump. This is why it’s so important to treat mid-level donors with the same care and attention as you would major donor prospects; you never know when one might turn into the other.

How do I encourage mid-level donors to become major donors?

The key to a successful fundraising operation is a healthy mix of major, mid-level, and annual donors. While it’s important to cultivate all of your donor prospects, it’s especially critical to focus on moving your mid-level donors up the giving ladder. Here’s how you can do it.

Invest in Timely and Relevant Communications

Once you have identified your best prospects, it is important to keep them engaged with timely and relevant communications. This could include anything from sending them updates on how their donations are being used to inviting them to special events or VIP experiences related to your organization’s work. By making sure that your communications are relevant and timely, you will be able show your donors that you value their involvement and that their support is making an impact. Additionally, this consistent communication will help build trust between you and your donor which is essential for making the ask for a major gift.

Make It Personalized

A generic form letter is not going to cut it when it comes to donor stewardship. If you want to turn mid-level into major donors, then you need to make an effort to personalize your communications. This could mean handwritten notes, phone calls, or even sending a small gift related to the donor’s interests. Whatever you do, make sure it’s coming from a place of genuine appreciation rather than simply trying to check a box.

It is also important to remember that when you are asking a donor for a major gift, it is important to personalize the ask. This means taking into account things like their giving history, what they are passionate about within your organization’s work, and why they decided to get involved with your nonprofit in the first place. By incorporating this information into your ask, you will be able show the donor that you know them and that their support is truly appreciated. Additionally, this will help increase the chances that they will say yes when you ask them for a major gift because they will feel like they are supporting something that is important to them on a personal level.

Make Them Feel Like VIPs

Donors are more likely to give again if they feel like they are part of something special—like they are part of an inner circle of supporters who are critical to the success of the organization. One way to make donors feel like VIPs is by giving them exclusive access to events or special content (e.g., behind-the-scenes videos, VIP emails, etc.). Another way is by involving them in the decision-making process for how their donation will be used. For example, if someone gives $5,000 to your capital campaign, get them involved in choosing which project their donation will go toward funding.


Get Your Free Course!