You can win many of them back. They already know and support your mission, so reactivating them costs less than acquiring new donors. Plus, lapsed donors generally have a higher long-term value than new donors.
Here are six tips to win back your lapsed donors:
- Be selective.
Avoid contacting all your lapsed donors. Many lower-dollar donors won’t be worth the investment. Instead, focus on mid- to high-value donors.
- Message it right.
The three things lapsed donors need to hear are, “We miss you,” “You make a difference,” and “We need you back.” Be sure to detail how your donors make a difference. One of the main reasons donors lapse is the feeling that other causes are more deserving. If donors feel their gifts do more good elsewhere, they will be gone for good.
- Test a premium or giveaway.
If your acquisition strategy relies on premiums, reactivation might require them as well. Winning donors back often takes recreating that initial experience.
- Try different fundraising channels or formats.
Sometimes an unexpected contact will catch donors’ attention and spur them to give again.
- Lower the bar.
Adjust the gift string to ask for less than the amount your donors were giving before they lapsed. Once donors reactivate, chances are they’ll return to their previous giving levels.
- Stop donors from lapsing in the first place with a strong donor stewardship program.
Emphasize retention with prompt thank-yous, welcome appeals, donor newsletters, sustainer programs, and by giving donors choices. Stay relevant to your donors. Show them how and why they matter.
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