- Have you given them your best offers? Matching gift, year-end holiday, supporter card, emergency mailings, etc., may work.
- Do they know that they have not given in a while? Show them when they last gave and what they last gave — works especially well with pre-lapsed, Terpstra said.
- Do they remember your organization and what you do? “We’re all bombarded with messages, so they may not remember you. Remind them,” Terpstra said. Test packages that could remind them who you are.
- Do you have a signature event or milestone event that is coming up? Like any donor, lapsed donors may react well to something big and special that is coming up for your organization.
The best way to decide on the proper reactivation strategies to employ is by using analytics. One technique is to used lapsed segmentation, testing and measuring results by:
- Six-month time increments
- All different dollar ranges
- Frequency, single vs. two-plus gifts or two and three-plus gifts
- Lifetime worth
- Source of getting on your file
However, Terpstra said the best approach is either lapsed modeling or employing a "hits" strategy.
The cooperative model is very effective for lapsed donors. There are several large co-op databases in the industry, such as Target Analytics, Wiland Direct, Abacus, etc. Each database is typically a huge transactional database built from information from many participating organizations. Some are nonprofits-only, while some are nonprofits plus other participants. They have tons of information about consumer or donor behavior across many organizations.
Using this data, you build statistical models to predict who will reactivate. Your lapsed donors are ranked and given scores. Typically, the top 10 percent to 15 percent with the highest scores are identified as key prospects for lapsed initiatives/mailings. Combining what you know and what you gather from the co-op, you can get a more advanced look at who your lapsed donors are. For example, you might know that a lapsed donor has given you three donations over five years, donates $25 on average and has given a high gift of $40. To supplement that, the co-op lets you know that that lapsed donor has an income of $60,000, donates to five different organizations each year, has given six gifts this year, has purchased twice from a clothes catalog and once from a garden catalog in the past year, and subscribes to a quilting magazine.