Combatting Mid-level Challenges

challenge


By Hannah Summers

December 15, 2021

Is your mid-level giving program facing some new challenges? Are you having difficulty developing the new and creative ideas needed to break the wall? Well, you’re certainly not alone.

Eleven mid-level programs from various nonprofits recently gathered for a Mid-level Giving Summit with the DMFA. They shared their greatest challenges – and our clients are confronting many similar situations…

  • Retention & Growth: Donors were especially generous in 2020, but it is becoming difficult to renew and retain those donors. We are seeing this strain in file health and on the pipeline of upgrades.
  • Staffing & Scaling Up: Organizations are struggling to effectively use limited staff resources to execute retaining and upgrading strategies. Mid-level files are growing quickly, but staffing programs accordingly is not happening at the same pace.

Here are just a few ways these organizations are working to overcome these challenges:

  • Personalize direct mail touches. Use autopen to address outer envelopes or print a handwritten note on a post-It to stick on top of an appeal. These small touches are easy to execute on a large mailing and can make a huge difference to donors.
  • Be strategic with your asks. Segment your donors based on your goal – are they multi-year donors ready for an upgrade ask? Or are they new in the past year and you want to focus on retention by keeping your ask flat?
  • Create content specific to donor interests. Create several impact report versions, each focused on a particular area of your work. Send donors the one they have the most interest in. It shows that you know their interests and are committed to giving them the information that they care about most.
  • Under promise and over deliver. Surprise and delight donors with personal touches – thank you calls, personal videos, meaningful premiums, or virtual events – these small things that donors don’t expect can go a long way.

What challenges are you facing in your mid-level program as 2021 draws to a close? What approaches are you using to keep your file healthy and your donors happy?

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