March 19, 2018 Douglas Shaw & Associates

If it’s been a while since Sally A. Sample sent you a financial gift, don’t assume she’s forgotten about you altogether.

Sally is what you call a lapsed donor, and the potentially quieter summer months ahead of us might be a good time to start figuring out how to get those lapsed donors back. Generally speaking, lapsed donors haven’t made a financial gift of any kind in more than 12 months.

It’s important to know that there are countless reasons behind why Sally isn’t giving, but the good news is lapsed donors, like Sally, represent a great fundraising opportunity for your organization. Lapsed donors make good prospects as they already know about your ministry: they felt compelled to give in the past, making it more likely they will give again in the future.

If you have a lot of people like Sally on your file, it might be worth taking some time to build a reactivation strategy that aims to get your donors back.

Your lapsed and deeply lapsed donors offer tremendous value to your nonprofit, and with a sound strategy behind you, they can be reactivated by following a few simple steps:

Choose Your Communication Method

Contacting Sally is (obviously) crucial. A good multi-channel approach would be recommended, but however you contact her, make sure you know as much about her as possible. When did she last give? What program did she support? How often did she give? Gathering this information from your data will help you craft a personalized and more compelling reactivation message.

For your lower level donors, you can use a telemarketing company to reactivate their giving, but when you can mail, email, and call, you will get even better results. For your mid- or major-level donors, it is strongly advisable that you call each donor, or even schedule a face-to-face visit.

Say Thank You

Even though Sally hasn’t given recently, it’s important to recognize that she may not know she’s lapsed. With this in mind, acknowledge her previous support when communicating with her, including her last gift date. Let her know that you’re grateful for her support and that you’d like to partner with her again. Why? Because when she’s involved, great things happen!

Take Action

While lapsed donors like Sally can stop giving for a variety of reasons, you must be bold enough to ask them to get involved again. Outside of a financial offer, you may like to invite them to an event or even engage them with a premium.

Keep your reactivation copywriting tight, even if it’s a script for telemarketing. Be direct, and don’t be afraid to ask for their support again.

Lapsed donors are a tremendous resource to your organization, so consider using the time you have over summer to learn what’s best for you.

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