A surprising discovery almost six years ago prompted an inquiry by Alia and me that culminates – for now – with a whitepaper we will be releasing this Sunday at the AFP Conference.

In the process of studying the online habits of donors in the $1,000 to $10,000 range, we discovered that among more than a dozen participating organizations, these donors, while few in number, contribute a lot of money.

And yet, these mid-level donors are often subject to surprising neglect by fundraisers.

Interviews and surveys with middle donors reveal them to be steadfast in their commitment to their causes, conversant in many of the finer points of the issues, and tuned into the particulars of recipient organizations’ strategies.

Who could ask for more in a donor?

Why do most organizations give them such short shrift?

And what should fundraisers do about it?

Those are some of the key questions we explore in The Missing Middle: Neglecting Middle Donors Is Costing Non Profits Millions. We will be sharing much more in these pages in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, while the “official” launch date is this Sunday, you can download your own free copy right now by clicking this link.

We don’t have all the answers – that’s an understatement. But we do hope to spark a conversation. We’re hoping you’ll share your own experiences and wisdom in the coming weeks and that together, we can chart sophisticated approaches to this overlooked and enormously valuable constituency.

P.S. The 2008 study that started us down this road was The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors a co-venture with Edge Research and Convio. It’s still worth a read!