How To Jumpstart Your Mid-Level Giving Program

Having a program for mid-level donors can help you build stronger relationships and increase their retention rate - here are 5 steps to do that.

Once you know what mid-level giving is and why it’s important, you may want to start a mid-level giving program. Having a program specifically targeted toward mid-level donors can help you build stronger relationships with those supporters and, ultimately, increase their retention rate.

Below, we’ll walk you through five simple steps to begin a mid-level giving program. If you already have a mid-level giving program but are hoping to jumpstart its efficacy, moving through these steps can also help you improve its organization and focus, and your team’s ability to connect with and understand your mid-level donors.

1. Set Goals for Gift Levels

What constitutes a mid-level gift varies by nonprofit. For smaller nonprofits, mid-level giving may include any annual donations between $300 and $1,000. For larger nonprofits, mid-level giving could range from $10,000 to $20,000 given within a year. 

One way to identify your range is to look at the middle third of annual donation amounts for all your supporters. You can also get an idea by pulling data from a platform like Instil to see what gift sizes account for 40 to 50 percent of your total revenue.

Once you’ve figured out your mid-level giving amounts, list them next to the: 

  • Number of donors who currently give at that level
  • Goal for how many donors you’d like to have at each level by a certain date (perhaps by the end of the year)
  • How many additional mid-level donors you’ll need to cultivate to meet your goal

Your list might look something like the table below.

Mid-Level Gift Amount

Current # of Donors

Goal Total # of Donors

# of Mid-Level Donors to Cultivate





















2. Identify Potential Donors for Each Gift Level

Next, you’ll need to cultivate additional donors to meet your mid-level giving goals. There are several places you can look for potential donors, such as:

  • Current mid-level donors who may want to increase their annual gift amount
  • Loyal recurring, monthly donors
  • Past major donors
  • Dedicated volunteers, board members, or other community champions of your cause

Check notes in your donor database software to identify supporters who have been highly engaged with your nonprofit and may be ready for additional stewardship

Make another list where you add donor prospect names under the gift level you think makes the most sense for them at this time. This will help focus your outreach efforts. 

Always include two or three more prospective donors than your goal for that amount. For example, if you only need one more donor at the $750 level, list three potential people who could meet that amount. Your list might look like the table below.







Sally Sue

Allen Wrench

Sarah Strong

Tom Hanks

Beth Becker

George Stone

Johnny Smith

Eliza Brown

Eric Wallace

Julia Powers

Jane Jones

Carl Williams


Frances Han

Jenny Wright


Brenda Parton


Heidi Klume

Ken Kennedy


Rachel White


Piper Woods

Susan Dale




3. Develop a Mid-Level Donor Communication Strategy

Once you have your goals and prospective donors identified, it’s time to perfect your communication strategy. One way to do this is to create a narrative for each donation tier. Attaching a dollar amount to a specific outcome that your nonprofit can accomplish with that funding helps prospective mid-level givers visual the impact they can have.

For example, if you’re an animal shelter, you might frame some of your asks like this:

  • Your $750 donation allows us to cover the costs for an additional kennel, increasing our capacity to give stray and neglected animals another chance at their forever home.
  • Your gift of $650 covers food costs for one month during our peak kitten season when demand for re-homing is highest.
  • Your $350 gift provides veterinary care for an incoming puppy to ensure it’s healthy, happy, and ready for its new family.

You can even create marketing materials that frame these asks in relation to a particular animal at your shelter, showing how a donor’s gift can directly impact Buddy the Beagle, for example.

In addition to creating a story around each mid-level giving tier, you should have a donor discussion guide ready for pitching new programs and initiatives to current and prospective mid-level donors. Be able to concisely share:

  • What your project or initiative aims to do
  • Why this matters
  • How much support you’ll need to make it happen
  • How you’ll show donors the impact they’ve helped make

4. Run a Mini Campaign for Mid-Level Donors

A mini campaign is a short drive for a specific project or need. For example, an animal shelter could run a month-long mini campaign to raise money for improved dog food.

Mini campaigns typically last between one to three months and give you an opportunity to cultivate specific donors. During this short timeframe, you target content and donation appeals to your mid-level donors. The campaign is story-based and shared with your mid-level giving audience through email, social media, and direct mail appeals. 

Mini campaigns are particularly helpful for growing your mid-level donor program because you can target and test personalized messaging to this cohort and evaluate how they respond. You can also create a sense of community or exclusivity around the campaign, helping mid-level donors see how they are a special group to your organization. They are the ones you reach out to when you are in need. You can even create exclusive swag related to the mini campaign to send to donors who give.

5. Evaluate Your Mini Campaign to Inform Ongoing Stewardship

After you’ve run your first mini campaign for mid-level donors, you can consider your mid-level giving program launched. However, without meaningful analysis following your campaign, you’ll lose the jumpstart you’ve created.

Take time after your mini campaign to evaluate:

  • How different donors responded to the campaign, such as their interactions with your various materials and which donation levels they chose
  • Which donors should continue at which stewardship levels given their updated donation history
  • Action steps for continuing to grow your mid-level giving program

You may also want to consider sending out a post-campaign survey to ask mid-level donors for their feedback on the campaign and ways they’d like to be involved with your nonprofit in the future. 

Based on your learnings from your first and future mini campaigns, look at how you can create personalized experiences for your mid-level donors. Some of the special perks you may want to implement for mid-level donors going forward could include:

  • Sending handwritten thank-you notes once a year
  • Calling mid-level donors after they increase their gift sizes to say thank you
  • Creating a special Facebook group, area on your website, or other community platform for mid-level donors to connect and receive exclusive sneak peeks at your work

Start a Mid-Level Giving Program to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Donor Stewardship Efforts

Mid-level giving is a key component to any nonprofit’s financial stability and growth. By establishing a specific program for mid-level giving, your nonprofit can leverage the full impact these dedicated supporters have to offer. 

If you’re looking to jumpstart your mid-level giving program, try running a mini campaign targeted for this donor cohort. You may also want to consider hiring a mid-level gifts officer to ensure you have enough capacity to connect meaningfully with these donors.


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