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How to Reactivate Lapsed Donors in Nonprofit Fundraising


Nonprofit Fundraising  It costs a lot more money to acquire new donor than to maintain existing one  Donors lapse for many reason, a lost of interest in your organization or another organization has taken your place in their heart and wallet  Good news is lapsed donors begin to give again with some nudging


Nonprofit Fundraising Who’s a Lapsed Donor?  Organizations that hold major fundraising every two years – 24 months of inactivity  Organizations that hold regular fundraising – 12 months of inactivity


Nonprofit Fundraising An Example of a Lapsed Donor Program  Busy lives keep donors from keeping track of donations  Nonprofits should do the record keeping and reminding for donors  Here are recommended actions for donors last donations date  Nine months – Phone call or letter containing update, and request for dollar amount no higher than last gift  One year – Direct mail using lapsed language  13 months – Letter of concern indicating more than a year of no contact


Nonprofit Fundraising An Example of a Lapsed Donor Program  16 to 18 months – Phone call or mailing with an offer that’s lower than their last gift including lapsed language  21 to 24 months – A final phone call or mailing indicating a gift that will be matched dollar for dollar  25 or more months – On occasion, mail the appeals with lapsed language  Tracking your results is the most important part of lapsed donors  If you are spending more than you’re taking in, you need to let donor go


Nonprofit Fundraising Not all Lapsed Donors are Created Equal  Few things to keep in mind with lapsed donors:  Segment out lapsed donors from current donor population and speak to them differently  Lapsed donors still see themselves as current donors. Remind lapsed donors of their status by calling out last gifts or asking them to come back  Lapsed one time donors are different from multi-gift donors  Best communication channels is to use letter, then phone call  Lapsed donors cannot be ignored. They’re a potential source of needed funding and should be nurtured with communications


About the Author

Edward Phillips, MBA, is chief creative officer of IPM Advancement, a leading nonprofit fundraising company. Visit us at http://www.ipmadvancement.com or call 623-687-3908 for more information about Nonprofit Fundraising.

How to Reactivate Lapsed Donors in Nonprofit Fundraising  
How to Reactivate Lapsed Donors in Nonprofit Fundraising  

Nonprofit fundraising is no easy task. And the job can get especially dicey when you lose a donor. That’s because it costs a lot more money...

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