This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
More and more organizations are putting resources behind cultivating and stewarding their mid-level donors. This donor segment is critical because inside are your future major gift and planned giving donors. However, these donors typically fall between the cracks of annual and major giving -- plenty of promise and potential capacity to give, but not assigned to a fundraiser.
As the pandemic has thrown off development offices' rhythm, strategically-minded leaders are focusing on newfound working hours on these mid-level segments.
Do they even have capacity?
Mid-level donors often don't appear to have the capacity to make a major gift on paper. That could be true now, but as circumstances change, they progress in their careers, and family situations change, so can their capacity. Donors with children at home or in college will become empty nesters in time. Folks with even modest incomes can save diligently and leave entire estates to causes for which they care. Mid-level donors with consecutive years of giving are loyal and can have hidden capacity.
But what about my priorities?
Before you think about your priorities, humor me for one second, and think about donor priorities. There is evidence that your mid-level donors are philanthropic and have an affinity for your organization. But, perhaps your organization is among the 10+ they support. Turning your attention directly to these individuals can elevate your organization to the first or second priority in their philanthropic giving -- it can be that easy. Knowing this may rearrange some of your priorities.
What's the strategy?
The important part of focusing on your midlevel donors is to get to know them better. By personalizing outreach to them, they feel that their gifts are valued and needed. As you reach out -- ask questions to get to know them. Why does your organization receive their support? What are their interests? Suddenly, you're building personal relationships that can support your needs as an organization today and potentially fill the major gifts pipeline tomorrow.
How is personalized outreach possible at scale?
Technology is one of the ways organizations can reach more donors with personalized outreach. Instead of digging through your donor database, Gravyty feeds all the pertinent information on these individual donors to your email. With a quick review of the donor information at the top of the First Draft email, you can quickly personalize the message for your donor and even set a follow-up action. With each contact, you build a closer relationship with the mid-level donor and learn more about their interests in your organization.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your fundraising staff to act as 2-3x its size, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.