A lapsed donor doesn’t have to be a lost donor. Before you assume that a lapsed donor is done with your organization for good, take a moment to reach out to them. From sudden changes in a donor’s budget to a lack of consistent communication on your end, there are a variety of reasons someone would give and not give again.
How to Reconnect with Lapsed Donors
Identify Lapsed Donors in Your Donor Database
Your donor CRM should include a report that enables you to quickly and easily see which donors gave “Last Year But Not This Year.” In DonorPerfect, you can access that report by following these simple steps.
Address Them Like the Well-Meaning, Do-Gooding Humans They Are
The rule of thumb when engaging lapsed donors via email? Don’t refer to them as “lapsed donors.” That’s an internal nonprofit term that helps you label and report on donors who might need a little extra love or motivation to come back and join the community of current donors who support your organization regularly.
Here are 3 different ways you can acknowledge that they haven’t given in a while without coming off in a negative light:
- We miss you!
- We’re checking in to see how you’re doing.
- We’d love to better engage you as a member of our community.
Start Out by Thanking Lapsed Donors for Their Previous Support
Even though you already thanked your lapsed donors when they gave their last gift, thank them again. Every communication touchpoint with your donors should always begin with gratitude and that winning philosophy is no different when it comes to lapsed donors.
Show and Tell Them The Impact of The Gift They Gave
Let lapsed donors know why their support is so valuable by providing specific examples of the change your organization is able to create when they give. Think about the initiatives you’ve launched and the goals you’ve reached in the past year as a result of the funding they so generously provided and mention those milestones. Whenever possible, illustrate these game-changing details with photos of the people or pets you’re helping, the facilities you’re maintaining, or the positive influence your gaining in your community.
Ask Them Why They Stopped Giving to Your Organization
This question can feel a little awkward, but when you frame it in the right context, your lapsed donor will understand that there are reasons why this information is important well beyond their missed gift. Make sure they know the meaning behind your question by providing the following explanation:
We noticed you haven’t donated in a while. If you don’t mind, could you let us know why? Your feedback can help us be better at serving donors like you in the future.
Get Details with This Lapsed Donor Survey Template
If you are a DonorPerfect user, you can create your survey with DonorPerfect Online Forms, which automatically records donors’ responses into the appropriate donor records. If not, you can also create a survey for free using SurveyMonkey.
Why have you stopped giving to [ORG NAME]?
- I don’t have the budget for it.
- I’m giving to another organization.
- I wasn’t thanked for my gift.
- I’m not sure how my money was used.
- I feel other organizations need my support more.
- I received too many solicitations asking me to give.
- I received too little communication from [ORG NAME].
- I didn’t connect with [ORG NAME]’s communications.
- I have decided to support a different cause.
- I don’t feel personally invested in [ORG NAME]’s mission.
- I was not aware that my gifts are not being received.
- My payment account information changed.
- Other: __________________________________
Let Survey Responses Help You Grow
If survey responses reveal that donor departure is in some cases the fault of your organization, don’t stress. Leverage this information to inspire you to better engage the donors who will serve as the lifeblood for your organization now and in the future. Whether it’s the push you need to revamp your communications or shift your focus to investing in more facetime with supporters, these survey responses are extremely valuable in developing meaningful donor relationships.Reconnect with Lapsed Donors Using This Handy Survey