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The Best Way to Reconnect With Your Lapsed Donors and Get Them Giving Again


The Best Way to Reconnect With Your Lapsed Donors and Get Them Giving Again

Just because donors lapse in giving doesn’t mean they’re long-lost. Keep reading to learn how to woo your donors back and get them giving again.


Why Donors Leave

Before we can talk about the best way to win donors back, we have to evaluate why they’ve left in the first place.

  • Did we stop consistently communicating with them?

  • Did they stop enjoying the way we communicate?

  • Did they have a change of heart and want to give it to a different cause?

  • Did they have a personal change in finances?

  • Did we not show them how their gifts were being used?

  • Did they not agree with our leadership or Board’s direction?


The truth is, donors stop giving for all kinds of reasons--and usually more than one. When they do, nonprofits should take time to reflect on why that may be to learn and grow.


But by and large, the number one reason donors stop giving is that they don’t see their support making a personal, tangible difference. Without personal attention, donors start to feel like a number in a crowd of donors whose giving doesn’t really matter. 


Let’s explore how nonprofits can show donors otherwise.


Reconnect with Your Lapsed Donors

The two main things nonprofits need to do to win their donors back is: 

  1. Show donors their relationship is valuable.

  2. Demonstrate that their past giving has made tangible changes for good. 

Start by calling or emailing lapsed donors to tell them you miss them. Demonstrate that you noticed they left and that this is felt in your organization. Ask if they would be willing to meet online or in person to reconnect. 


From there, your job is to build a genuine relationship and understand what’s been going on in their world lately. This will give you a better idea of why they’ve paused their giving. It doesn’t hurt to simply ask:


“Hey, can I get your feedback on something?


I noticed you stopped giving. We’re always looking for ways to learn and grow. Was it something we did?” Don’t be intimidated; donors love giving advice! When listening, focus on making them feel heard, not solving their problems with your organization.


If donors aren’t available to meet for a while, consider texting a short video message to reconnect: “Hey, [name]! I just thought I’d send you a video. I miss you! It’s been a while.


What have you been up to lately?


Last time we talked, you said… 2020 has been a tough year for [org name]. But because of supporters like you we’ve been able to adapt by. . . I’d love to get together and tell you more. Your past giving has made a huge difference for [org name], and I can’t tell you how thankful we are for that. I hope we get to reconnect soon, [name]. Take care!”


One of the easiest ways to demonstrate that a lapsed donor’s giving has impacted your organization is to schedule a 3-5 part text or email series. The goal of this series is to communicate:

  • We miss you!

  • Your past giving made a difference. See how! 

  • You helped change [name of beneficiaries] life.

  • We’re on a mission to accomplish [x]. Will you join us again?

  • Thank you! Your support means everything to [org name]! 


Notice that the first 2-3 emails are NON-appeals. The last thing you want to do is reach out and ask for a donation right away, making the donor think you’re more interested in a transaction than a relationship.  


Reconnect With Donors Through ZGIVE

At ZGIVE, we believe the last thing you should be worried about is finding the right technology to accomplish your lapsed donor development. That’s why we’re offering our entire online donation platform (including Text-to-Give & Text-to-Engage) subscription-FREE until January 2021! For more information, go to www.zgive.com.