Bringing Donors Back to Life: Engaging Lapsed Donors

One inevitable truth about donors is that they eventually stop giving.  You will have a certain percentage each year who fall into this category.  There are a number of reasons why this happens, including death, change of location, change of focus, disappointment with the organization, and more. Mostly, it is because donors lose focus of the reason they first engaged and they simply fall out of touch.

It is important to have a plan in place to activate donors who have not given in a while.  Many times, organization keep lapsed donors on their mailing lists for too long; which results in a waste in resources when the donor is unresponsive.

The first thing to remember is that lapsed donors have great potential.  It can be cost-effective to reignite a lapsed donor because they had previously been committed to your organizations as a regular supporter.  You will need to build a bridge and restore the point of passion that was there before.  If you are successful, our studies show that a reactivated donor is likely to give more generously than they did previously.

Email and/or direct mail communication are effective tools to reactivate most donors. For major donors who have lapsed, the personal touch goes a long way.  A face-to-face meeting is always best. However, a personal phone call is another effective way to connect and re-engage with a lapsed major donor.

Express genuine gratitude for their support. Let them know that their generosity in the past has been truly meaningful to fulfilling the mission. Let them know they are missed, and that you have been faithful to the mission since they have been gone.

If they have truly fallen out of touch, it is good to invite the person to get reacquainted with the organization before you ask them for a donation again. If you have any events or opportunities that are more inspirational or exploratory, let them know they are invited.

Why go through all of this trouble?  Relationships matter and it is typically more cost effective to reactivate a lapsed donor, rather than acquire a new one.  Often people just want to feel a part of the organization again, and they are just waiting to be invited. Remember fundraising is really all about friend-raising!

If you are interested in a fundraising strategy or consultation on how to grow your donor base or better engage your donors, Infinity Concepts is here to help. Contact us today!

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