5 Steps to the Second Gift
Step 5: 10 months after the initial gift
Send a “pre-lapse” appeal. New donors who are nearing one year without gifts since their initial gifts are at serious risk of lapsing. And a lapsed donor (no giving activity in 12 months or more) is harder to re-engage than a donor who has given more recently.
Most donors might not realize they’re getting close to the anniversary of their initial gifts. How do you get their attention without turning them off? How can you rekindle their initial feeling and motivation?
This is your last opportunity to bring in that second gift before donors pass the 12- to 14-month mark. Send a touchpoint nine months to 11 months since the first gift that says, “We’ve missed you!” Note that it’s been a year since you’ve received her generous gift, referencing the specific amount. Emphasize the great work you’ve been doing in the meantime and the need for her continued help. Consider including a premium item like a magnet or decal to rekindle the donor’s bond with your cause.
- Encourage new donors to become monthly sustainers. Include a monthly giving option on your direct-mail reply slips. Provide a one-click option for monthly giving on your online donation form. Test an “interrupt” box during single-gift donation processing, which asks donors if they would like to make their donation a monthly gift, with the calculation displayed.
- Append e-mail addresses as soon as possible. Multichannel donors are your most valuable donors. Those who give both online and offline are two to three times as valuable as an offline-only donor. Get their e-mail addresses so you can start communicating with them through multiple channels.
- Also encourage donors to provide their e-mail addresses themselves. Retention rates are typically higher for donors who give you their e-mail addresses compared to when you append the file.
- Add a matching-grant mention or reminder in any of your appeals after you’ve already mailed or deployed matching-grant-focused campaigns. Matching grants do not have to be limited to the central theme of a campaign. They are strong response drivers, so include them in other appeals too.
- Give donors a “last chance” for year-end giving, such as the last day of the year, in your year-end online campaign as well as in your direct mail.
- Increase new-donor interaction with your organization through mini online surveys, and include surveys in direct mail too. Surveys can be very strong fundraising offers because donors like to share their opinions. Other engagement activities include calendar cover contests, photo contests and voting on membership card images. Encourage donors to submit their special-event photographs for publishing on your website or social-media outlets.
- Use the self-identified information donors share with you to provide customized information relevant to them via e-mail or inserts in direct mail.