Challenge: Mid-Level to Major Gift Moves Management

For many organizations, Major Gifts and Direct Marketing operate in separate silos. Moving donors from the core file up to mid-level and major giving requires breaking down traditional barriers and establishing new ways of operating. How can an organization grow their Mid-Level audience in value, and also qualify prospects for their Major Gifts program?

Approach: Continuous Process of Identification

At THD, we engage in a continuous process of identification, review and engagement of the most valuable donors on file. Every engagement is recorded in the Mind Map database for further analysis and assessment.

For one client, with no existing major gift team and a large Mid-Level file, the first step was to conduct a thorough assessment of the program. Using external modeling, THD populated new Major Gift portfolios, moving several hundred donors out of Mid-Level who had the capacity and affinity to make major gifts. Using the next set of valuable donors, a more sophisticated Mid-Level program was then created and structured.

Business rules were built to govern types of communication treatment, and how those donors would move up, back to the core file, or into major gift portfolios. Rules for gift crediting were also established and confirmed with all stakeholders.

THD’s calling Ambassadors provided cultivation for these donors. As calls were made, THD’s MindMapTM system allowed our Ambassadors to efficiently record meaningful conversations with donors. These conversations were then entered into the database as codes (up to 220 conversation variables) as well as short narratives and retrieved to highlight trends and common themes. On a weekly basis, these conversations were reviewed by a THD manager and appropriate Mid-Level and Major Giving staff. Promising donors were researched by THD for further insight into their capacity and inclination and recommendations were made for upgrading and downgrading donors based on their potential.

Results: Increased Revenue, Efficiency, and Influx of Major Gift Prospects

Along with improving year-over-year performance of the Mid-Level, there were several other significant outcomes from implementation of the Donor Advancement Program: