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Tips to Engage and Nurture Mid-level Donors

Samantha Hunter
Published:  06/21/2021

Hand holding three small potted plantsPhoto by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash

In a recent post, I discussed the importance of establishing a mid-level donor program and strategies to build a strong foundation. Now that you’ve established your program and have gotten your leadership on board, it’s time to think through how to best engage with your audience. Read on for tips and tricks to help with driving mid-level donor loyalty. 

Meet them where they are 

You already have an existing mid-level donor pool, that gives you the advantage of having real data to help you understand the mid-level experience you’re creating. Take a look at where these donors have given and what their channel preferences are. 

Are they engaging more with digital content? Or does direct mail resonate more with the audience? If you find that they are engaging more in the digital space, you can start to have the conversations internally about how to expand your digital footprint. You want to make sure you’re engaging with your donors where they like to get their information. 

If you don’t feel like you have good historical data to pull from, don’t be afraid to ask them directly. Surveys can go a long way and show donors that you want to understand their preferences. You can ask how they like to receive information, how often they want to hear from you, and how they want to hear about the impact of their giving. 

You’ve already done the hard work of defining this specific audience, so you want to make sure that you are engaging with them in the most effective and impactful way. What better way to find out how to engage with a specific audience, than to ask them directly? Keep in mind that people change their preferences constantly, so it’s best practice to re-evaluate channel preferences regularly. 

Leverage data to grow your pipeline 

If you’re sensing a theme, it’s that data is critical when it comes to engaging better with your audience. Take some time to go through your pipeline and look for people that are close to qualifying to be a mid-level donor based on your organization’s parameters. Taking time to find the low hanging fruit can give you a quick win. 

Try setting up a campaign specific to those donors who have potential to move up to a mid-level donation. The best way to do this is to look into what each donor is passionate about based on their giving history. Then you can segment them into audiences and send out targeted messaging based on the work your team is doing in that area. This creates a more personal relationship and connection with your organization.

This strategy can work for upgrading existing mid-level donors to major gift donors as well. Try out targeted messaging on mid-level donors that are close to reaching what your organization qualifies as a major gift. A little bit of personalized outreach can go a long way. 

Create an authentic experience 

As you’re trying to acquire and cultivate the next generation of mid-level donors, creating an authentic human experience is more and more important. You need to focus on creating a personal connection with them and your organization. To do this, you have to find the intersection between your unique value as an organization and what resonates with your audience, also known as a value proposition. 

A good value proposition conveys why they are giving to you at this point in time and not another organization. And value propositions will probably be different for your different audiences. Focus on honing in on what resonates with your audiences and then aim to deliver clear and consistent messaging. It will allow you to be more direct and to drive that donor engagement, especially at the mid-level. 

For example, there might be a segment of mid-level donors that are really passionate about behavioral health. You can do a special email campaign specific to the topic. Or run a zoom session with an expert who is leading the initiatives and efforts in behavioral health at your organization. 

Sharing specifics on the work your organization is doing in the space your donor is most interested in will have a lasting impact. Then donors can begin to envision how an increase in their gift amount can directly impact a cause they really care about. It will feel highly targeted and customized to the donor, but in reality you’re actually engaging with a broader audience that have similar interests.

For more tips, check out this post on the importance of segmenting your audiences and why customized messaging is crucial to engage with your audience. You can aso watch this webinar on why the mid-level is often overlooked and why it’s important to engage with them.
NEWS  /06/02/21
Are you establishing a mid-level donor program? Check out our best practices.
NEWS  /04/12/21
How donor personas can help you find and connect with your audience.
NEWS  /04/27/21
Five proven email marketing tactics to better engage with your donors.

Meet The Author

Sam Hunter headshot
Samantha Hunter
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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