Alyssa Jefferies / October 10, 2017

In a previous post I discussed moves management strategies to steward, solicit and upgrade your mid-level donors. But how do you take step one to identify who you should actually be talking to so you can ensure you are building relationships with the right donors?   

In our experience at Meyer Partners, we find that past support is the best indicator for future support. Predictive modeling that factors in all previous gifts makes it possible to quickly and easily identify those donors with upgrade potential. This allows for a clear segmentation strategy that ensures defined communication strategies and differentiates between annual fund, major gift and mid-level communication plans.

As an example, we recently used gift transaction predictive modeling to help a human resources organization identify the mid-level donors who are most likely to upgrade. These donors received a mail/email campaign seeking gifts three times larger than their previous highest gift amount. The majority of donors, however, were excluded from the “stretch ask” campaign. This specialized modeling and targeting allowed us to shrink the audience, but invest more in the selected group. The net impact was a savings of 65% on printing and postage costs, but an increased yield of 306% in net revenue, as compared to the organization’s prior methodology of one-size-fits-all! 

With the advent of cloud computing, we’ve found the cost of predictive modeling has become affordable — and well worth it — for most organizations.  However, another option is to utilize in-house data mining methods to create mid-level prospect lists (but be warned, this can be time-consuming for staff).  First you need to identify your mid-level range, run your donor reports, and review your donors to identify and rank your list for mid-level communications.

If you choose to go this route, remember to look for:

  • Donor cumulative annual giving totals (often these donors are some of your most generous and committed, especially with monthly donors who might cumulatively be donating in your mid-level range or higher).
  • Largest gift (to identify larger gift potential -- for example, current donor of $100 a year but 3 years ago gave $1,000)

Once you have identified your mid-level cluster using whatever methods works best for your organization, you can then move forward to the next steps to develop your plans for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding this group into the future. Not only creating a vibrant mid-level program but also feeding your major gift pipeline for future success! 

If you would like to explore ways that Meyer Partners can help your organization identify mid-level prospects, please contact us at for a complimentary mid-level donor audit.