January 17, 2023
Nonprofit Technology & Fundraising Blog
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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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]?
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.