Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Annual Giving, Career Development, Direct Mail, Donor Centric, Donor communications, Fundraising, Inspiration, Major/Planned Gifts, Opinion, Uncategorized.

Part One of Three

This is the first post in a Three-Part Series on Mid-Level Giving for Nonprofits on #WiserWithWisely. This series will serve as your go-to guide to start and grow a mid-level giving program for your nonprofit.

What is mid-level giving?

If you work in fundraising you’ve probably heard the term mid-level giving over the past couple of years and its growing prominence in nonprofits when planning for next year. The growing focus on mid-level giving is due to its ability to maximize donor revenue and give your mid-tier donors a special experience. If you want to start a mid-level giving program at your nonprofit, then you’re in the right place! Mid-level giving is a donor journey and strategy for your nonprofit’s mid-tier donors. Those donors who are giving less than a major gift, but they’re giving more than your typical annual donor. A mid-level giving program includes mass marketing tactics like direct mail and personal touches through relationship management.

Building a mid-level giving program gives you a way to draw these mid-tier donors closer to your organization and get to know them. By drawing this important donor group in more closely, you can identify who has the capacity to make a major gift.

 

Why do you need a mid-level giving program?

Your nonprofit needs a mid-level giving program as part of your overall fundraising strategy because

  • Mid-level giving is a bridge between your annual donors and your major gift donors.
  • Mid-level giving allows you to maximize your revenue efficiently.
  • Mid-level giving engages this important donor audience to encourage retention and upgrade

 

What is the threshold for a mid-level gift?

The threshold for a mid-level gift is different depending on organization size, annual revenue, and donor base. In the same way, the threshold for a major gift is different. In fact, your mid-level giving threshold should be relative to the typical size of gifts given in your major gift program.

For larger organizations, a major gift may start at $25,000, so a mid-level gift could be anything above $1,000 and under $24,999. For many smaller organizations, a major gift could start at $5,000 so the mid-level gift could start closer to gifts from $500 up to $4,999.

 

What does a mid-level giving program look like?

A mid-level giving program is a bit like providing a hotel concierge for your donors. When you stay in a hotel, the concierge can help you pick a nearby restaurant based on your food preferences. But the concierge isn’t going to help you choose a specific meal from the menu!

In quite the same way, a mid-level relationship manager is like a hotel concierge, only there to answer donor questions and give your nonprofit a friendly face. So unlike major gifts, where you put together a very specific proposal for donors, in mid-level giving, you offer some personal touches to your donors but interact mostly through direct mail.

 

Why should you build a mid-level giving program?

Did you know that up to three-quarters of a nonprofit’s major donors started out giving a smaller gift through a channel like an in-person event or direct mail? This means you could have donors in your annual giving program with the potential to make transformational gifts to your nonprofit. Not only does your mid-level giving program help build a pipeline of major gift donors, it also provides on-going stewardship for past major donors who aren’t ready to give at that level again.

 

When you look for major gift prospects through wealth screening, you are only uncovering the top 10% of donors, which is usually what you want! But you are missing your mid-level donors, these donors may not be able to afford to make major gifts every few years, but they do have the capacity to make their lifetime gift to your organization. A mid-level giving program helps you re-engage major donors when it’s too soon to ask them to give another major gift, but you still need a way to keep them engaged.

 

The mass-market communications will keep these donors informed about your organization and the personal touches will maintain a high feeling of engagement with your organization. They will really appreciate the insider feel of the mid-level giving program and the regular stewardship updates.

 

Coming up in the second part of this series, how to start a mid-level giving program at your nonprofit AND how to define your mid-level audience.

 

Interested in finding out more about Wisely? 

 

Connect now through the Blackbaud Marketplace

 

Or find out more on #WiserWithWisely

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Author: Wes Moon, Co-Founder, Wisely

Wes launched his fundraising career accidentally when he joined the University of Toronto’s Advancement team. While at UofT he helped build the process, operations, and tools that fundraisers needed to be successful with data-backed decision making. Driven to innovate, expanded his reach and worked with some of the leading Canadian charities, managing their donors and data before joining the Sunnybrook Foundation.  There he built their recurring giving program, launched new events, and digitized their fundraising campaigns. 

 

Wes then made the jump into tech and hasn’t looked back.  He led the Canadian team at Blackbaud and then founded Wisely, an AI-based technology company, designed to help charities raise more, faster.  Today Wes and the Wisely team work with all sizes of nonprofits and are certified technology partners of Blackbaud and Silent Partner Software.

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Board of Directors, Diversity, Leadership/Management.

As we head into our 2020-2021 cycle at the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter and continue to adjust to the unprecedented challenges we face as a society and sector, we want to reiterate our commitment to Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) principles.

 

Within our Chapter, we know that we must continue to have often uncomfortable conversations at the Board and leadership level as well as with our membership and with those within our sector in order to move the dial on issues to ensure we are living up to our commitment to IDEA.

 

We want to thank our colleagues at AFP Global for hosting an important town hall as a first-step of ongoing conversations and IDEA initiatives to address the issues of anti-Black racism and oppression within the fundraising sector. We were happy to see many of our fellow Chapter and Canadian members tune in to learn more about the different ways we can come together to take action to combat systemic racism.
Following this town hall, at the Chapter level we have had ongoing discussions with our colleagues at AFP Global and AFP Canada about how we can continue these conversations to take further action and continue to develop important AFP IDEA programs and initiatives.

 

One of our first actionable steps is to have our Chapter Board and staff participate in formal, ongoing unconscious bias, anti-Black racism and anti-oppression training to ensure we address these issues at a governance level. It is the responsibility of the Board to build the trust of the membership by demonstrating our personal commitment to greater awareness of different experiences and perspectives and our role in speaking out and fighting against systemic racism.

 

Further to that, we have also committed to ensuring our educational programming going forward – starting at this year’s virtual Congress – will include sessions specifically focused on unconscious bias, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism to help raise awareness to stamp out systemic racism within our sector. We look forward to working with our Congress management committee, Chapter volunteers and the larger AFP membership to attract the best representatives of this important field of study to lead these discussions.

 

As a Chapter we want to take a leadership role in ensuring that our members are equipped to work in the sector and organizations in our sector embrace an inclusive workforce and cultivate an inclusive donor community.  To help with this, we will also continue to support AFP Global on evolving AFP IDEA best practices and initiatives and provide regular updates to our members on our collective efforts.

 

 

We will continue our efforts to create an environment and opportunities within our Chapter that support open communication and dialogue to allow our membership to speak candidly about the barriers that exist that prevent them from advancing within our profession. In doing this work we are committed to unlearning outdated systems and practices that no longer serve us and are ready and willing to listen, gather and respond to your feedback.

 

We recognize that these commitments are not the complete solution, however we believe they are important concrete steps towards achieving a Chapter that is responsive to the needs of our members and sector. We encourage you to reach out to us via Penny Connors, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Executive Director, should you have any questions, feedback or ideas on how we can work together to combat systemic anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and oppression within our Chapter and sector.

 

Thank you in advance for your patience and support as we continue to have these important conversations and work towards the best approaches for sector-wide change. We look forward to building a better, stronger more inclusive and diverse AFP Greater Toronto Chapter and cultivating meaningful change toward ending anti-Black and anti-Indigenous systemic racism within our sector.

 

Sincerely,

Penny Connors
Executive Director, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter

AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Board of Directors:

Amy Pawluk, CFRE                                                                                                    Jennifer Bernard, CFRE
President                                                                                                                     President-Elect

Caroline Riseboro                                                                                                        Seanna Millar
Immediate Past-President                                                                                           VP, Finance & Audit

Sandra Sualim, CFRE                                                                                                 Michelle Vinokurov, CFRE
VP, Governance & Directorship                                                                                   VP, Professional Development

Sasha Manes                                                                                                               Cindy Ball, CFRE
VP, Membership & Marketing                                                                                       VP, Public Affairs

Ken Aucoin, CFRE                                                                                                       Brady Hambleton, CM
Chair, Human Resources                                                                                             Chair, Sponsorship

Paula Attfield                                                                                                                Danielle Mandell, CHRL
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Roselyn Sagar-Lal, CFRE                                                                                            Simone Hicken
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Mary-Lynne Stewart                                                                                                     Sara Ly
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Teresa Vasilopoulos, CFRE, MBA                                                                                Cheryl Denomy
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Dane Shumak, CFRE                                                                                                   Pamela Ross, CFRE
Member at Large                                                                                                          Member at Large

Stacey Silverberg Carcao, CFRE, BCL, LLB                                                               Aki Temiseva
Member at Large                                                                                                         Member at Large

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Diversity, Ethics, Inspiration, Leadership/Management.

Originally published on AFP Global’s President’s Perspective blog.

 

As we enter another week of fundraising in the COVID-19 era, we again find that the landscape is changing.

We continue to adjust to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus and the resulting impact on the economy. Now though, other events have taken center stage: the anguish and anger over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—a black man killed by police officers in Minneapolis and a black woman killed by police officers in Louisville, Ky.—and the resulting protests and violence that continue to unfold in cities across the United States and around the world.

I have often said that fundraisers are the voice of those who are not heard. And that point has never been more important than now.

Part of the job of the charitable sector centers on service provision, whether it’s in partnership with the government, or helping out in service areas where the government cannot provide them or has failed to do so.

But we, especially as fundraisers, also play a critical role in creating connections and bringing people together—uniting communities to work on a cause. We provide a safe haven for different perspectives and unheard voices. We work to ensure that the principles we espouse so much in our society—such as diversity, fairness, compassion and justice, to name a few—become a reality.

Even if our causes appear to be unrelated to these issues, we must understand that people will want and need to talk about them. We need to provide a platform so they can express themselves, and we need to be sure to listen, understand and help find solutions to bring about change.

This is the fabric of our world—and frankly, always has been. This is what people are experiencing and living. This is the world in which we raise funds and provide services. If we don’t meet people in that world—and have empathy and seek to create change—then we are doing them, and our causes, a disservice. And we are not living up to the principles and values that undergird our work every day.

At AFP, we understand that the profession and world in which we work are not yet equitable, and that is why we’ve made inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA) such a priority. That is why we support the project, Our Right to Heal, which highlights the challenges that black women face every day. That is why we are holding an online panel discussion in the near future to talk about institutional racism, social justice, fundraising and other issues raised by recent events.

Whatever our cause—and AFP members represent thousands of different missions—we can all agree that stamping out institutional racism must be a priority for all of us.

I have termed fundraising the impact profession, and you can see our impact most clearly in the programs and services our organizations provide. But our work is so much deeper and more powerful than just that. You’ve probably all experienced this sense of impact as you’ve talked with donors during the COVID-19 crisis and hearing their need to reconnect and feel part of the broader world. Now, it is even more critical we have these conversations with our supporters and stand up for our values and what is right.

I invite you to share your thoughts with me. Please feel free to email me at Mike.Geiger@afpglobalorg.

Geiger sig