Skip to content
We are now Bonterra

Thursday Thoughts: Turning donors from mid-level to major

July 21, 2023
This image shows a mid-level donor who could be converted into a major donor following the tips in this guide.

We all know it’s more efficient to retain an existing donor than to acquire a new one, but how can busy fundraisers upgrade mid-level donors effectively and efficiently? And how can nonprofit organizations leverage technology to support those efforts?

Stewarding existing donors into upgrading their gifts can help your nonprofit tap into the fundraising potential of major gifts. Let’s take a closer look at key tips and tools that will boost your results

Tips for upgrading mid-level donors into major donors

Personalized communication and engagement strategies are critical to helping mid-level donors see the value and potential impact of increasing their donations to your nonprofit. But have no fear—personalized approaches don’t always require more time or resources. 

Know where and how to focus your efforts with a meaningful and personal touch. Consider the following techniques:

  • Divide your mid-level donors into segments. For example, you might create segments based on giving history, personal interests, or engagement level. Create and tailor your messaging to appeal to each group’s preferences.
  • Invite mid-level donors to learn your strategy. Schedule in-person meetings or phone calls to highlight the impact of individual donors’ previous contributions and connect them to your organization’s larger goals. Mention specific projects or initiatives that align with their interests. 
  • Demonstrate the tangible benefits of increased giving. Show your donors the potential impact of their contributions. Explain how increased support for your organization can amplify the difference you’re able to make in the communities you serve.

As you advance and refine your strategy, continue to explore new ways that donors can deepen their support with more significant gifts and greater impact.

4 tech tools for securing major support

To optimize your results, your nonprofit should leverage technology to assist with personal touch points and engagement journeys. These four tools are essential:

1. CRMs

Your donor data can support your segmentation and personalized outreach, but only if your nonprofit stores and organizes it properly. Constituent relationship management (CRM) systems allow you to better understand patterns and track donor: 

  • Interactions
  • Preferences
  • Giving history

Storing this data in one place ensures that all your staff will have access to all the right information at just the right times. Utilize workflows and automation to send out emails and remind your fundraisers to reach out to better engage with your constituents.

2. Virtual events

While in-person engagements are important, you can also foster community by hosting virtual events. To strengthen donor relationships, structure the event to promote interactions between mid-level donors and: 

  • Organizational leaders
  • Fellow donors
  • Stakeholders

Storing the information you gather from these events in your donor profiles also allows you to send follow-up messages to donors that are more focused and effective.

3. Social media

If you haven’t already, take your efforts beyond your newsletter by using social media platforms to:

  • Develop online communities 
  • Engage and showcase donors 
  • Share success stories
  • Provide updates on the impact of donations

For more visibility, encourage donors to proudly repost and share your organization’s posts. Not only will you strengthen relationships with your existing followers, but you’ll also open the door for engagement with their social circles and widen the reach of your social media activity.

4. Online donation capabilities

Where relevant, offer easy-to-use online donation forms with options for recurring and upgraded giving. This can make it convenient for donors to increase their support and help them see the potential impact of even small increases in their gifts. Include impact stories and metrics in your acknowledgment and stewarding messages that show how far donors’ dollars will go toward making an impact.

Start stewarding donors today

Balancing personalized communications and efficient technology tools will help your nonprofit connect with mid-level donors and deepen their involvement. Employ these donor stewardship tips today to strengthen your relationships with your existing supporters.

This is a contribution from Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D., managing director at Orr Group. Andrea is an applied developmental psychologist and thought leader with expertise in nonprofit strategy and leadership support, and has a strong background in strategizing and utilizing technology to drive social good.

Ready to Get Started?

    Donor Engagement
  • Nonprofits
  • Digital communications & marketing
  • Fundraising ideas