How to get donors to upgrade now

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 7.7.2020

person using laptop computer holding card

Getting your donors to upgrade their contributions can be one of the best strategies for increasing individual donations. Unlike new donors, your existing supporters are connected to your work and mission. Here are some tips to help get your donors to upgrade their giving.

Establish giving levels

The first step to upgrading donors is to establish giving levels. Donors are usually identified in three categories: first-level, mid-level, and major. It is important to create giving levels that reflect your organization’s individual contributions. For example, if you normally take in $50 donations, then your mid-level gift should be around $50 while your first-level is $25, and the major level is $100.

You can also establish your giving levels based on specific items your organization uses. If your organization is focused on beautification projects having levels tied to resources like shovels, buckets, and seeds is another way to clearly define levels. This type of giving helps your donors see a tangible object that they helped purchase.  

Name your levels

Once you have established giving levels it is good to create names that reflect those levels. Some organizations go with the traditional bronze, silver, and gold levels. Others use levels that reflect their cause. An organization that focuses on running may use miles as their levels. The first level donor may be called a 5Ker, mid-level 10Ker, and a major donor is a Marathoner.   Have fun with naming the levels so that your donors will feel connected to your cause.

Thank them for past gifts and show the impact of their gifts

Donation acknowledgments are very important in all aspects of fundraising but are critical to upgrade donors. Reach out to current donors and let them know their value to the organization and that their support makes your work possible.

Give them an update on your programs and services. Your update needs to include statistics pointing to any success you are experiencing. This is a time to brag about your organization and its impact on the community.

Show the need for their continued support

After showing the impact of their donation it is time to tell them your plans and why it is important that they upgrade. If you run a program that sends children to camp and you want to increase the number of participants than explain the need here. You could say something like:

“Thanks to your generosity last year, we were able to send 200 students to camp. This year our goal is to send 250 students and we need your help. Having donors like you upgrade their giving will help 50 more students get out of the city to experience nature.”

The bottom line is to explain why you need their extra support.

Give them a gift for upgrading

In addition to acknowledgment letters, giving your donor a gift is a great way to show your appreciation for their support and an excellent way to market your cause. Lapel pins, umbrellas, and coffee mugs branded with your company’s colors and logo are items that donors look forward to receiving each year.

Need help upgrading your donors? Contact us today.

Photo Credit: Rupixen

Topics: Nonprofit, Donor Relationships, Donor Retention