Every nonprofit leader wants to reach more donors and raise more money so that his or her organization can continue to make the world a better place. For many, that desire to make a lasting impact is what gets us out of bed in the morning.

The truth is, a healthy and long-lasting fundraising model is built day-by-day, brick by brick.

7 keys to building a sustainable funding model through mid-level giving

What are the keys to ensuring your organization’s healthy future? Here are seven ways to maximize the middle of your donor pyramid to create a healthy balance for sustainable giving:

1. Know the capacity and interest level of your mid-level donors. Just because a mid-level prospect has capacity to give at a higher level doesn’t mean they’re interested in doing so. This is why the intelligence you can gather from observation data is so invaluable. It allows you to identify prospects who are more likely to give, because they have a strong interest in your cause.

2. Don’t overlook your non-donors. There are some people in your database that might have never given before, but have the potential to make a meaningful first donation. In fact, they may be your biggest prospect pool. Look for way to leverage marketplace data to identify potential mid-level donors that might be hiding in plain sight.

3. Equip your development with the right insights to cultivate mid-level donors. Securing commitments on the first ask requires the right conversation with the right prospect, even at a mid-level gift. Providing your development staff with the same kind of information you collect for major donors is essential for truly maximizing the conversations you have with potential mid-level donors.

4. Meet with potential mid-level donors in person. Interaction via print and email won’t win them over; they need face-to-face attention to show them their value. Gift officers must be able to convey the case in a compelling, action-oriented manner to get meaningful results. Luckily, advances in technology are making it more affordable for organizations to engage donors across the pyramid through face-to-face interactions.

5. Give mid-level prospects unique options to make a difference. Mid-level donors are unique, which gives you the opportunity to provide giving options that are different from major and general fund contributions. Asking for multiyear commitments fulfilled in monthly payments is an effective way to upgrade low-level donors because it makes contributing a mid-level gift an easier and more comfortable financial decision.

6. Show prospects you need and value their support. Make sure your mid-level donors know the impact they’re making with each gift. Direct, personalized attention in a cost-efficient manner will help propel your organization into your mid-level donor’s top three organizations—which is where you need to be.

7. Don’t minimize the relationship between your organization and mid-level donors. Be sincere about developing a relationship from the starting point through mid-level gifts. Building strong relationships with your mid-level donors is the best way to cultivate a future base of major donors.

These tips are the foundational building blocks to upgrading donors and ultimately setting your organization up for a sustainable existence. If you want to learn more about how you can specifically identify and cultivate mid-level donors, download our free resource, Mid-level Donors: The 7 Things You Need to Know.

How are you currently reaching out to donors? Do you find building that relationship to be a challenge?

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Major gift fundraising

Tony Smercina

Tony Smercina

Executive Vice President of Fundraising Services at Pursuant
Tony Smercina serves as executive vice president of Pursuant’s Fundraising Services division that provides gift officer services, including the signature Charitable Partners (TM) Program — a turnkey solution for upgrading annual/general fund donors to mid-level giving and beyond.