Non-profits often struggle to find creative donor level names for their fundraising efforts. Whether you are creating sponsorship levels for a fundraising event, designing a donor club program, or building out a capital campaign, you will be using different donor tiers, each with their own benefit and gift levels. These tiers need names to differentiate them for your supporters.
Many non-profits go with simple, generic giving level names. The most common of these include precious metals (platinum, gold, silver, bronze, etc.), and gemstones (diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire), etc. But lots of organizations are looking for more creative donor level names… preferably, names that speak to their mission and programs. Here are four ways to name your donor levels if you’re looking for something a little more creative than the old-fashioned generic names:
#1 – Names Based on Programs
One way to name your gift levels is based on the programs provided by your non-profit. This is a great way to tie your fundraising event or giving society directly with your mission and vision, and to cause people to think about the work they are supporting with their donations.
For example, if you are an animal welfare organization, your creative donor level names based on programs could be The Animal Rescue Team, The Veterinary Society, and The Animal Sanctuary Circle. If you are working with a non-profit helping elderly shut-ins, your tier levels could be The Companionship Circle, The Food and Shelter Society, and The Transportation Team.
#2 – Names Based on Pioneers or Pillars in Your Field
Another great way to name your donation levels is based on pioneers or pillars in your field. By naming your giving clubs after those who have done the most to serve those you are trying to help, you can inspire your donors to stand on the shoulders of these giants in funding your work and helping you grow.
For example, if you are a non-profit raising money to fight a certain illness, your creative donor level names could be based on the doctors, researchers, and philanthropists throughout history who have done the most important work in that field. If you are fundraising for a school that has been around for hundreds of years, you could name your giving levels after your most famous alumni.
Before choosing donor levels based on people in your field or organization’s history, be sure to get their permission (if they are still living) or their family’s permission to use their name.
#3 – Names Based on Jobs or Professions
Are there certain jobs or professions that are associated with the work your non-profit does? If so, your creative donor level names can be based on those jobs. Doing so will help tie your donors’ support directly to your mission and the practical, on-the-ground work that is being done by your organization.
For example, if you are fundraising for a hospital, your tier levels based on jobs or professions could be The Doctors’ Support Circle, The Nursing Advocates, and the Emergency Medical Society. If you are working with a high school, your giving levels could be the Educators’ Society, The Faculty Roundtable, and The Headmaster’s Circle.
#4 – Names Based on Donor Role
One final way to name your giving societies and donor levels is based on the roles your donors play for your non-profit. How important are your donors to your organization? What are the different words you use to talk about their support? Your creative donor level names can be based on those words and the roles your donors fill for your non-profit.
Thus, your giving levels could be The Advocates, The Supporters, and The Friends of (Your Organization Name). Or you could call them The Benefactors’ Society, The Leadership Committee, and The Patrons’ Circle.
Don’t Go Crazy Finding Creative Donor Level Names
When brainstorming gift level names for your non-profit, don’t be afraid to be creative. But just as importantly, don’t go crazy trying to select the perfect tier names for your charity events or donor clubs. Donor level names are important, but they are not the most crucial factors in your fundraising success.
The most important factors in raising money for your events and programs are the relationships you build with donors and prospects, the donor cultivation activities you carry out, and the asks you make. Donors don’t give based on fancy donor level names… they give because they believe in your mission, and because you have developed a strong and growing relationship with them prior to asking them for money.
Photo Credit: Miles Against Melanoma PA
Nita Anandaraj says
I am the Manager of the Middle Donor Team. calling these donors the ‘Middle Donors’ does not sound good as donors question why they are classed as “middle Donors”?? looking for an alternate name.
Joe Garecht says
Nita, I agree! I would suggest coming up with mission-specific names for your donor clubs or donor groups. If you are talking about your job title, I would change it to something that is donor centered, like Donor Support Manager, Director of Donor Engagement, or Director of Philanthropy. Your job title should sound good to the donors you are working with, rather than exactly stating your specific role and tasks…
Mary Ann Ann Mohring says
Nice article. Very helpful.