Lapsed Donors

When Should You Give Up on a Lapsed Monthly Donor?
April 24, 2017 at 9:06 am

A year or so ago, I joined 20 organizations with a monthly gift. And (sneaky me), I gave them a card that was going to expire a month later. I then tracked what organizations did in terms of “thank you” letters and actions to try to get me back...

Don’t Write Off ‘In Memoriam’ Donors as One-Time Donors
February 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

There is definitely the tendency in our sector to write off “in-memoriam” donors as one-time donors, yet I think we must understand the emotional connection and make an effort to grow that relationship—with tact and in the gentlest, most-loving way possible...

Make the Most of 2016's Gifts to You: These 3 Donors
January 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

No matter how you feel about 2016, it’s now in the rear view mirror for fundraisers (except those who are frantically working to receipt the donations that were made or mailed before the clock struck midnight and 2016 faded into the past). But every nonprofit organization has three gifts from 2016 that are filled with potential for 2017—if only you take advantage of them in this new year...

Are They Really Lapsed? Or Have You Been Neglecting Them?
October 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

At what point after a donor has stopped donating to your cause do you stop mailing them solicitation letters? Five years? Fifteen years? Turns out, it’s ever too late to reactivate your lapsed donors—if you’re sincere about it...

Revisiting the Lowly Postcard
August 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

Earlier this year, I received a postcard mailing from the Share and Care Foundation, a nonprofit organization located in New Jersey. In just four panels (one of which was the address panel), the postcard tackled one of those funding needs that make many fundraisers cringe—toilets...

The 'Big Favor' to Donors That's Almost the Meanest Thing You Can Do to Them
June 21, 2016 at 10:00 am

I've had front row seats to this disaster several times: The organization's core donors (those who've been giving for three or more years) suddenly are lapsing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Or to put it another way, the group of donors who normally have the highest retention rate of all donors suddenly is lapsing at…

Please Stop Saying Lapsed Donors Are Your 'Best Prospects'
March 30, 2016 at 11:06 am

Whenever I or anyone else at Bloomerang writes or speaks on donor retention, we often recommend that fundraisers isolate donors who haven’t given in two years into a separate list, removing them from regular direct-mail solicitations and other costly marketing efforts. While we are a bit more aggressive on this point, it’s not uncommon to…

Why You Should Never Give Up on Donors
March 28, 2016 at 11:38 am

I have a story I want tell you. Recently, I’ve been working with major gifts officer (MGO) Janice (not her real name) in the San Francisco Bay Area to help her get to know her donors on her caseload...

Are You Just Plain Lazy?
February 18, 2016 at 11:12 am

A staffer responsible for donor relations at a mid-size community charity began our conversation by describing a fundraising program that, although fully functioning, is showing the early warning signs of real trouble. Stagnant gift size and a declining—albeit slowly—donor-renewal rate. Her concern was palpable. At an appropriate pause, I asked her what she thought the issues were. Her response was simple: “Our donors simply aren’t giving enough. They don’t understand the urgency of the work we’re doing.”...

Fundraising Statistics That Should Scare All of Us
February 2, 2016 at 11:05 am

There are multiple ways to analyze giving and charitable trends, but you can’t run from the findings. Give it a try. Can you run from this statistic: “Every 100 donors gained in 2014 was offset by 103 donors lost through attrition”?...