This past Tuesday, the AFP Mid-America Chapter welcomed Allison Rickels, from the Farmhouse Foundation and Dustin Prockish from the KC Zoo. The topic was stewarding and upgrading mid-level donors—and the house was packed.
It was an excellent discussion. Here are the most interesting things I came away with.
- Be specific. Try to stay away from "your money keeps the lights on and doors open" types of asks. Refer to programs and tangible outcomes your donors' gifts make possible.
- Think Big Picture/No Cost. Both organizations capitalized on the reputations of CEOs and important staff by inviting mid-level donors to exclusive events where they met and mingled with these people. PLUS: They also meet and mingle with other donors who give significant amounts and make friends associated with the organization ... pretty smart.
- Common Sense Segmentation. There is a point of diminishing returns. Find the sweet spot where it's meaningful, but before it becomes more work than it's worth, i.e., do you really need 15 versions of that annual appeal for a file of 2,000 donors?
If you'd like to check out more great programming like this, consider becoming a member of the AFP Mid-America Chapter.