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 Case Study, Fundraising, Inspiration, Leadership/Management, Opinion.

 

We are proud to collaborate with The Fundraising Talent podcast & Responsive Fundraising to bring you stories of fundraising in the time of COVID-19.

In this special 7-episode series, members share their unique experiences with The Fundraising Talent podcast and host, Jason Lewis, about working hard to pivot operations and to secure important funding for front-line workers, community programs, the arts, environment and more. Through these conversations, we hope to continue to strengthen our global fundraising community and to provide valuable insights for continued dialogue and future learning.

Many thanks to our members who spoke candidly on what it means to be a fundraiser during this critical time.

 

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Fundraising, Next Generation Philanthropy, Opinion.

What fundraisers are thinking and how they are planning for the year ahead

By Gail Picco orginally published on the AFP Canada blog.

As 2020 approaches, many fundraisers are assessing what has—and hasn’t—worked for them in the past, even as they cope with the external dynamics buffeting the sector today and consider the emerging critique of the structure of philanthropy itself. From sector-wide issues to program planning for their own organizations, fundraisers across the country are heading into 2020 with their eyes wide open to the challenges and plans to meet those challenges or, at least, understand them better.

“What does it mean to disrupt our sector,” asks Rickesh Lakhani, CFRE, executive director of a community-based organization working with children and youth in Toronto.  “Whatever is happening now—whether it’s inclusion, harassment or lack of innovation—needs a critical eye. I’ve been looking at Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas and thinking about how people can be incentivized to break down the structure of the power imbalance.”

Juniper Locilento, MPNL, CFRE, chief development director of a national organization of community food centres, agrees. “After spending time in 2019 with the work of Rob Reich and Anand Giridharadas, I’m more oriented than ever before towards social change philanthropy and I’m thinking critically about the balance of power in philanthropy and demonstrating that my organization will strengthen democracy rather than plutocracy,” she says. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Congress, Fundraising, Inspiration, Leadership/Management, Opinion, Special Events, Volunteers.

This year’s AFP Congress is a rallying cry for fundraisers to take a step back, recharge, discover new ways of thinking, support each other, and collaborate in elevating the profession.

In this blog entry, the volunteers behind Congress share their perspective on what it means to ‘Raise The Work’ in 2019. Please share your own thoughts in the comments below!

 

Take Pride

“I think we need to get better at celebrating ourselves. Not everyone gets to fund social good with their day job. That meaningful impact is a benefit of our career choice and we shouldn’t be shy or equivocate about that fact. We should own it.”

 

– Scott Jeffries, Director of Media & Data Services, Stephen Thomas Ltd

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee Chair

 

 Tell the World

“Some may view our sector as small or lacking innovation. But we know better. Fundraisers see the results of innovation everyday in the life-changing impact we have on the communities we serve. Fundraisers change the world in a big way – let’s make sure the world knows it.”

 

– Molly DeHaan, Manager of Annual Giving, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee

 

Going Beyond

“To me raising the work means understanding the challenges faced by your colleagues. Because when you get out of your ‘silo’ in this way, you can discover new ways of working together so that you’re not just serving your own goals but perhaps helping other departments more readily achieve their goals too.”

 

– Jennifer Meriano, Mid-Level Giving, Canadian Red Cross

AFP Congress 2019 Marketing Committee

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Advocacy, Fundraising, Government Relations, Inspiration, Leadership/Management, Volunteers.

Thank you to our members who participated in our annual Day in the Ridings (DITR) initiative! Our members’ efforts were key in creating awareness of the role and value of professional fundraising to our federal government.

 

Over the past two years, 140 AFP members met with 164 MPs, Ministers, and government officials in 338 ridings across Canada to bring forward our “case” for AFP’s role in public policy development and asked elected officials to support three important policy priorities:

  1. A home in government for the charitable sector;
  2. an ongoing investment in data collection on the charitable sector; and
  3. consideration of tax exemption for gifts of private shares and real estate.

 

Thanks to this work, AFP’s message about the value of professional fundraising and the importance of an enabling environment for charities has spread across the country and across party lines. Read more »