Winning back lapsed donors with donor management software

The start of a new year is a great time to invite lapsed donors back into an organization and donor management software can help. Many people decide to start their January out on the right foot; setting new goals and improving habits is a common theme around this time of year. There is no better time to rekindle an old giving relationship than at the beginning of a new year.

Define lapsed donors
Each nonprofit will have to decide for itself what a lapsed donor really is. Smart Annual Giving suggested defining this type of contributor as someone who gave twice in the past but have not given in a full calendar year. However a charity decides to label these donors, it's crucial to remember they are great prospects and supported the cause before.

Thank them
When reaching out – either via mail or email – be sure to thank lapsed donors for their past gifts. It's always good to remind contributors that they had a solid, good impact on an organization.

Remind lapsed donors why they gave in the past and invite them back with specific goals.

Tell them they are missed
Let lapsed donors know they were an important part of the nonprofit before and are genuinely missed. Network for Good recommended looking at donors' giving records to remind them of the last time they gave and cite this information specifically. For instance, "We haven't heard from you since 2012 and we miss you." An exact year or month adds a note of personalization.

Appeal to interests
Try to spot patterns in their previous giving habits. If it looks like a donor's contributions were geared toward a particular cause, make note of that and remind them that there's still opportunity to help in that arena. The Fundraising Authority noted that its often helpful to fill constituents in on the great work that's been done since they last gave.

Invite them back
It sounds obvious, but warmly inviting donors back is sometimes all it takes. Show them they are still necessary to a cause or humanitarian efforts. Let lapsed donors know about specific projects coming up that they can give to or events they are invited to attend.

Donor management software makes reaching out to lapsed donors simpler. It provides nonprofits with the information they need to recount when past contributors gave and what those givers value. Investing in software today can improve donor retention tomorrow.