Adding An “A” To “RFM”

Those lapsed donors, so close yet so far, so tantalizing, so frustrating.
Bringing backed lapsed donors can pay off big, but sometimes fundraisers look at the effort and wonder if it is worth all the trouble. It can be, if it is done intelligently.

Stephanie Ceruolo and Larry May of Infogroup Nonprofit Solutions offer a systematic approach to reclaiming those who have wandered. Their approach is referred to as RFMA:

  • Recency. When was the most recent contribution? Ceruolo and May call this the key driver in the RFMA technique. Nearly everyone who gave a gift from 13 to 24 months ago is a good reactivation prospect.
  • Frequency. How often did the donor give, in the most recent year of their giving and in their lifetime giving?
  • Monetary. What is the donor’s gift amount? An easy approach is to use their last gift, which is usually their average giving level, but it is also possible to average their giving in their most recent year.
  • Affinity. To which mailings did they respond? When selecting lapsed donors to receive a specific appeal, those who gave to previous similar appeals are good prospects. If the organization has different appeal types/tracks, such as mission/no premium, greeting cards, etc., that response affinity will also target the best prospects.