Aussie Mid-Value v US Mid-Level Donor Plans

Aussie Mid-Value v US Mid-Level Donor Plans

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We say tomato, you say tomato. Okay, that doesn’t work in writing.

What about colour v color? Elevator v lift, dunny v washroom? You get the picture. There’s more than one way to speak English!

Roger Craver told me US and Canadian fundraisers talk about “mid-level donors,” whereas we New Zealanders and Aussies talk about “mid-value donors.” It doesn’t really matter what you call them … the important point is that these wonderful people so often fall through the gaps in fundraising.

But there seem to be different approaches in best practice approach for working with these donors in different parts of the world.

In addition to the North American and Down Under way, African and Latin American charities approach it much like the Aussie / Kiwi approach. European fundraisers seem to straddle both.

I began to realise this after attending and watching a ‘Mid-Level’ donor webinars in North America. The webinars were great, and if charity fundraisers followed the recommendations they would definitely benefit.

So, what was different?

Bottom line: all the information I find about mid-level donors in North America is about how to do better appeals. They talk about targeting and stewardship, and mail and email appeals.

Here in Australia and New Zealand, the most successful mid-value donor programs tend to integrate targeting, mail, email, phone, visiting and hyper-personalisation.

I think it is a factor of our tiny populations. We have small constituencies so when we identify key supporters we must work hard to maximise the value of our relationships. We can’t just go and get more.

And that goes beyond direct mail. Not that direct mail is wrong – at most, 50% of these donors will ever interact on the phone, and maybe only 20% will ever interact in person or at events.

But, with the right plan, that 20% will end up giving more than the other 80%. AND they will be more likely to put your charity in their will.

I think there are five steps to mid-value donor development – and only one of them is getting your direct mail right.

  1. Understanding the maths of mid-value fundraising. Planning, preparing, budgeting, targeting and segmenting.
  2. Better direct mail and email campaigns, this is where you have the impact on most donors.
  3. Understanding how to retain and grow these donors.
  4. Planning beyond the mail. Using phone, visiting and events to quickly upgrade mid-value donors.
  5. Closing the deal. Building quick and easy cases for support and how to use them to upgrade mid-value donors’ donations tenfold.

Whatever stage you are at in your fundraising development, the upcoming FREE webinar ‘All About Mid-Value Donors’ is for you. Register now! You can watch the recording anytime, or join us live! Choose your preferred time then click register:

Option 1:

New York: 3.30pm, Tuesday, October 3

Los Angeles: 12.30pm, Tuesday, October 3

London: 8.30pm, Tuesday, October 3

Auckland: 8.30am, Wednesday, October 4

Register Here


Option 2:

New York: 7.00pm, Tuesday, October 3

Los Angeles: 4.00pm, Tuesday, October 3

Auckland: 12:00 noon, Wednesday, October 4

Sydney: 10:00am, Thursday, Wednesday, October 4

Register Here 

I hope to see you at the webinar!


P.S. Please share your thoughts by leaving your reply below. We’d love to learn from your experience.


  • Sean Triner

    Sean Triner is a Co-Founder of Moceanic and Pareto Group. With over three decades of experience in fundraising and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in mathematics, Sean has a wealth of fundraising expertise to share with Moceanic members and blog readers. He is also a coach and available for bookings on the Coaching+ program for fundraisers to help answer your questions and work hands-on directly with you.

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