pexels-photo-789822A lapsed donor is a supporter who has gone more than one full calendar year without making another gift to your organisation. Nonprofits typically retain less than 50% of their donors from one year to the next, so convincing them to remain connected to your cause and continue to give is a common concern.

The following strategies can help you to rebuild relationships with these supporters.

Keep Details Up To Date

Send your lapsed donors an email asking them to update their communication preferences and let you know the way that they prefer you to contact them, and how frequently. In closing, thank them again for their previous gifts and ask them to consider making a new contribution. Use the information that they provide to update your donor database and improve your segmentation for better communications.

Send a Reminder

Since they have given previously, you know that your lapsed donors care about your cause. More than likely, nothing has changed; they have merely gotten busy and forgotten to give. Send them a friendly reminder, via email, thanking them for their past support and ask that they consider a repeat donation.

Depending on their communication preferences, and even the size of the previous gift, you might want to pick up the telephone, or send a card with a handwritten note, and express your gratitude and ask if you can count on their continued support.

Tell Them The Truth

Thank your lapsed donor for their prior gift, and then fill them in on the progress that your organisation has made with their support. Mention your current projects and goals and tie this in with what your NFP can accomplish with new gifts in incremental amounts. Ask them to make a new donation.

Ask for Feedback

Another way to rekindle a lapsed donor’s interest is to ask them what they would like to see your organisation do next to make things better. Everyone wants to be asked their opinion and feel heard.

Send a survey that mentions some of your prior work, and that asks for feedback on what your organisation should focus on going forward. Offer a list of choices, which should be a list of projects your nonprofit is considering adopting, as well as provide space for suggestions in their own words.

Close the survey by thanking them for their time and asking them to continue to support your organisation. Once the results are tallied, contact them again with the top results, the action you intend to take, and how a new gift will help you to advance your cause.

Invite Them to an Upcoming Event

Is your organisation celebrating a special occasion, such as a project anniversary, or hosting an event, such as a gala or other fundraiser? Let them know that you’ve missed them and ask them to attend and reconnect!

Host a Special VIP Tour

Everyone likes to see the results of their support. Major donors, in particular, like to get an up close, “insider’s view” of the impact created by your projects and their donations. Take your lapsed donors on a personal tour of one of your project locations so that they can see the great work that you are doing and become inspired to give again!

Get Your NFP Board on Board

Prepare a list of lapsed donors for your NFP board. Do any of your board members have personal relationships and connections with them? Have your board members reach out to renew their interest in your cause and ask them to make a new contribution.