Mid-Level Giving: What It Is and Why It Matters

Mid-level giving should be a core piece of any nonprofit’s development strategy. Here, we’ll cover what mid-level giving is and why it's so important.

A lot is written about how to recruit new, small-gift donors or create a stewardship program for major donors. But, what about that donor group right in the middle? While it can be easy to overlook mid-level giving, it’s worth being intentional about this donor cohort. Mid-level giving should be a core piece of any nonprofit’s development strategy. 

If you haven’t thought about mid-level giving much, don’t worry! Below, we’ll share more on what mid-level giving is and some key reasons why you should make it a priority. By having a solid grasp on what a mid-level giving program accomplishes, you can begin to structure your own and tap into this critical donor support.

What Is Mid-Level Giving?

So, what is mid-level giving? In short, it’s the donor cohort that falls between your annual donors and your major donors. 

The actual gift range that constitutes mid-level giving will depend on your nonprofit’s goals and size, similar to how you might determine what qualifies as a major gift for your organization. One way to narrow in on which donors to include in your mid-level giving program is to look at the range of annual donation amounts by donor for the middle third of all your supporters. One nonprofit may find that their mid-level giving ranges from $500 to $1,000 per year, whereas another may determine that mid-level gifts span from $3,000 to $5,000 per year.

Mid-level donors may give relatively high recurring donations and increase that amount annually. They may also tend to give additional gifts throughout the year on top of their recurring amounts. In general, mid-level giving includes donors who have shown a strong interest in your nonprofit. Their relationship with your work goes beyond an initial interaction or light touch. They are more likely to consider their support of your cause as a piece of their identity. 

While mid-level donors are noticeably more engaged with your nonprofit’s work than casual or first-time donors, they likely don’t seek the one-on-one, in-person stewardship that your major donors might. Mid-level giving programs let you add personal touches to the donor experience for this cohort. You can meet them in the middle—between the basic outreach done for annual donors and the individualized proposals done for major donors.

3 Reasons Why Mid-Level Giving Is Important

Once you’ve identified which donors form your mid-level giving group, it helps to know why specifically cultivating this cohort is important. Knowing the “why” for your mid-level giving program can motivate your fundraising team to grow these relationships.

1. Increase retention rates with engaged donors.

Mid-level donors provide substantial gifts to your nonprofit. They also have a solid connection to your cause and brand. By focusing on mid-level giving, you can increase the retention rate for some of your cause’s key champions, year after year.

Maintaining this important group not only provides sustainable revenue, but it also increases the chance of these donors sharing your organization with their networks and encouraging their friends, family members, and coworkers to donate, as well.

A stewardship plan that is specific to mid-level giving helps these donors feel seen and appreciated for their support. For example, you might host a special event just for mid-level donors where you share stories about the impact they’ve helped you have that year and provide branded swag as a thank-you to them.

2. Maximize your revenue through efficient personalization.

By identifying this donor segment, you can automate some of your outreach or additional engagement to this cohort to make your stewardship efforts both personalized and efficient. You’ll be able to easily send specific emails or direct mail to just this cohort. You can also run reports on this group to see the overall effectiveness of your different campaigns.

A mid-level giving program should aim to make the donor experience feel more special and personalized for mid-level donors, but without requiring a ton of extra effort for your staff. This happy balance makes stewardship easy on your team while increasing the likelihood of these donors feeling like a part of your community.

Mid-level donors also present a good opportunity to obtain recurring gifts that offer consistent revenue to your nonprofit. By automating some of your outreach using a solution like Instil, you can target recurring giving campaigns directly to your mid-level donors.

3. Identify prospects to cultivate into major donors.

Depending on their overall capacity, a donor who falls into the mid-level giving cohort may be able to be cultivated into a major donor. They’re already giving a significant amount and have a strong connection to your work—a great launching point for further engagement.

By tracking mid-level giving, you can identify donors who continue to increase their involvement and donations to your nonprofit over time and share that data with your major gifts team. Offering these warm leads can lead to easier major donor cultivation than cold pitching prospects or researching new donors in-depth.

Additionally, you can leverage the mid-level giving stewardship level to keep past major donors engaged in case they want to increase their giving again in the future. While they may have moved off the radar of your major gift team’s active major donor list, your mid-leveling giving stewardship will encourage them to stay connected to your cause.

Leverage Mid-Level Giving to Strengthen Donor Relationships and Increase Revenue

Mid-level giving is an often-overlooked but extremely valuable donor cohort. By knowing the range of donation amounts that qualify as mid-level giving at your nonprofit, you can identify current donors who meet that criteria and personalize your approach for keeping them engaged. 

A strong mid-level giving program strengthens your relationships with key donors while providing sustainable revenue for your mission.

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