I was talking with a smart fundraiser the other day who just started a new gig. He said, “We don’t have a donor pyramid. We have a donor pancake.”
Basically, the organization he works for has a thriving low-dollar membership program. But they have very few major donors.
As he restructures his department, he sees middle donor fundraising as a key to evolving his pancake into a pyramid.
Middle donor fundraising is a conduit. It’s a pipeline. If you have no middle donor program, the leap from low dollar to major is pretty drastic. And while that leap can happen unassisted — many times through planned giving — your donors will take it more frequently if you give them a little bit of help across the divide.
When you don’t invest in middle donor programs, you better order some syrup to go with that pancake.