Hello, I must be going…

Sometimes you just have to ask when it comes to finding out why donors have stopped giving.

Rob Reger, senior vice president, data solutions, at direct marketing firm Epsilon, offered up seven steps to reactivating lapsed donors during a session at a recent direct marketing conference:

  • Find out why they left: Survey lapsed donors with specific questions about why they stopped giving.
  • Customize your message: Once you know why your donor stopped giving, address those reasons in your messages.
  • Understand channel preference: Let data be your driver. Connect with donors the way they like to be engaged. Why are they transacting in that channel? Is it because they’re more comfortable or was it just more convenient that day?
  • Convert to sustainers. Target donors who are most likely to give on a regular basis. Consider lifetime value of your donor to make the most of your campaign.
  • Remember how you got them in the first place. Think about when they first donated. Find out the original way you got them and consider emulating that in the future.
  • Don’t ever treat them like a new donor. Nothing is more important than saying thank you. Show them the value of their past donations and the effect that their donations have had for your organization.
  • If you talk specifically to lapsed donors in a special way, about where their money has been used, acknowledge they have been with you a long time.