What is the best way to measure the success of my mid-level program?
Every fundraising program needs to be measured. However, mid-level programs are particularly difficult to measure because the goal is not immediate revenue. The number one goal for mid-level programs is to move donors into a more committed relationship and identify those who are able and willing to make transformational gifts.
While the ultimate goal isn’t immediate revenue, fundraisers still need to understand (and report to their boards!) what mid-level initiatives are moving the needle and how the investment is paying off — both now and in the future.
Here are 3 simple key performance metrics that show if your mid-level program is on a path to success:
- Number of donors “graduating” to major gifts.
Look at a five-year history of your donor pipeline, and calculate how many donors are moving each year from mid-level to major gift portfolios. Also, review what the average major gift is for the population. By increasing this count by even a few donors per year, the payoff is tremendous.
- Mid-level donor retention.
Mid-level donors should be the segment that has the highest retention of all your annual donors. Unfortunately, charities without a dedicated mid-level program have the lowest retention with their mid-level donors because they aren't using a one-to-some approach. Understand your baseline retention and five-year trends. Use this information to set goals for improvement.
- Revenue per active donor.
While the goal of mid-level programs is not to become an enhanced direct-response strategy, this one-to-some program should move mid-level donors to the tipping point of a major gift. It is also important to increase giving to cover the costs associated with a mid-level program. Please note: Not every mid-level donor will become a major donor. This population is usually a strong contributor to annual giving goals.
Make sure you’re using these metrics to determine if your mid-level program is on the path to success! How else do you evaluate your mid-level programs? We’d love to hear about those methods in the comment section below!
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