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GivingLoop Blog

How to Reactivate Lapsed Donor

All nonprofits have lapsed donors — the people who previously used to donate to their organization but for some reason discontinued doing so. An average nonprofit organization loses over 50 percent of their donor base in a single year.

Losing a donor can be disheartening— and most of the nonprofits know that. If your organization has a problem with donor retention, it means your stewardship strategy needs a change.

Lapse Donors Are Important

Your lapse donors are extremely significant, particularly because they have already shown an interest in your organization and indicated they are willing to sign a check to support your cause. In addition, attracting and bringing in brand new donors is extremely hard, because you have to find a potential new giver, find out if they are interested in your cause, teach them about what you do and then convince them to give you financial aid.

Hence, reactivating lapsed donors is very crucial for nonprofits.

Reactivating Lapsed Donors

If you want to bring your lapsed donors back into the game, you need to come up with a concrete plan to build back your relationship. That requires a personal conversation.

· Select Your Donors

The best way to approach a lapsed donor is with a personal phone call or meeting. It is not necessary or practical to have a personal visit or a meeting with each and every one of your donors. Reserve that for high-level and some mid-level donors. For low-level donors, an email or a phone call may suffice.

· Thank Your Donor

When you contact your donor, make sure you thank them for their past gifts. Donors like to hear they made a difference to your cause and are essential, even though they have not recently given. One of the biggest reasons donors relapse is that they feel the organization does not care about their efforts and they could move somewhere more thankful. You need to inform your donor that their support is sorely missed and that the nonprofit would love to have them become involved again.

· Inform Them about the Nonprofit’s Accomplishment

Since the donor has not been in contact with your organization for some time, fill them on about the great causes you have supported and what your organization has accomplished. Let donors feel they are vested in the organization’s success by saying things like, “We would not have been able to achieve this if it weren’t for your support.”

· Call To Action

Finally, you can ask them to take action. Do not push them into giving your nonprofit cash immediately. Donors do not like to feel they are being forced to give up their money. What you can do is to ask them to attend an event or other cultivation opportunity to reconnect the donor with your organization. If you play your cards right, it would lead to a donation.

· Test A Giveaway

If you believe reactivating lapsed donor may require premiums or giveaways, go for it. Sometimes, a donor may come back into the fold if you recreate the initial experience that they had when they first joined your nonprofit.

Reactivating lapsed donors is a great opportunity for taking your nonprofit’s fundraising to the next level. If you feel you have a great number of lapsed donors, create and implement a reactivating strategy this year.

Salah Hamwi

Salah Hamwi

Sustainability advocate and growth adviser. Salah helps Givingloop's new nonprofits reach their monthly donation goals through strategic technology.