Ollie Rothmann By Ollie Rothmann • July 15, 2021

    Effectively Reach Your Mid-Level Donors With Personalized Stewardship

    Mid-level giving has been a contentious topic over the last few years. Fundraising leaders face the question of how to approach stewarding a constituency that is significantly larger than the major donor pool, yet potentially less impactful on the bottom line.

    Effectively Reach Your Mid-Level Donors With Personalized Stewardship

    Fundraising leaders are asking themselves the tough question: what is the cost-benefit to hiring new fundraisers in order to personally engage with mid-level donors when it is hard enough for your existing team to manage their major gift portfolios? What if I told you that you can completely avoid trying to determine the answer to this question?

    The consulting group, Sea Change Strategies, has been tracking mid-level giving progress at 19 nonprofits since 2018, and right now they’re reporting that these organizations have an average of 3.2 fundraisers managing mid-level giving programs. But even still, we cannot expect mid-level giving managers to have the bandwidth to personally engage with their entire mid-level donor portfolios, which tend to be significantly larger than major giving portfolios. However, during the pandemic, organizations were personally engaging with as many donors as possible, and mid-level gifts made more of an impact than before. Perhaps we took mid-level giving for granted.

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    So, now that many mid-level donors have come to expect personal stewardship, what does the future look like? Alia McKee, a principal at Sea Change Strategies, explains that:

    “The bar pre-Covid was really quite low, but now we set the bar a little high. Groups are going to need to make sure we don’t disappoint donors who may have gotten accustomed to a certain level of cultivation and stewardship. The question is, are they going to continue investing that way?”

    It is unfair for us to ask our major gift officers to manage mid-level giving, too. Major gift officers are giving their full attention and time to their donors/prospects, and if you ask MGOs if they could use more time in the day to cover more of their portfolios, the answer is always “yes please.”

    But, so many organizations have tiered giving programs through which the donor journey through the pipeline hits a roadblock in the evolution from mid-level to major donor. For example, if someone gives $23,500, but your major-donor floor sits at $25,000, what is your plan to steward this individual? Even though this donation falls into the mid-level giving category, this donor should be personally stewarded and managed, as chances are, their capacity to give is significant.

    Communications with this individual must be focused on building a relationship with the goal to move this donor through the pipeline into the major-giving tier. Too often we see these mid-level donors--even those who give right on the cusp of major-giving level--fall through the cracks, so there is no true donor journey. 

    So, whether you personally engaged with your mid-level donors before or not, there is a way to provide this one-to-one stewardship to every donor/prospect without having to construct mid-level giving teams. Gravyty AI enables fundraisers to personally engage with every single donor/prospect within their portfolios. Baptist Health Foundation's Associate Director of Development, Valerie Brown, completed more than 1,000 communications with her donors through Gravyty and increased giving from the portfolio by over 300% compared to the same time period the year prior.

    Gravyty helps fuse these tiers together so that, no matter the size of the gift, donors are being personally engaged en route to building genuine, mission-centric relationships. 

    See how artificial intelligence can help your fundraisers personally reach more mid-level donors and sustainably bolster your giving pipeline for years to come by seeing a Gravyty demo today.

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