This is a good time of year to focus on reactivating lapsed donors.

April showers bring May flowers… as it is said.

What better time than spring (at least in the northern hemisphere) to focus on the same cycle of renewal that many parts of the earth go through?

Develop/implement a strategy to reactivate lapsed donors.

First, come up with a strategy to “shower” your donors with a little love. It can be a thank you call or note.  A token gift.  Some recognition.  My e-book, Creative Ways to Thank Your Donors is up to about 62 ideas at this point – but I’m sure you can come up with your own.

The point is you have to plant the seeds and water the plants before your flowers are ready to pick.

Many of you are on fiscal years that end June 30th. Now is the time to reconnect with your lybnt (last year but not this) donors so they don’t miss out on another year of giving.  Once you’ve sent a little love their way as suggested above, here are a few ACTIONABLE TIPS:

  • Send a “we miss you” letter that’s as personal as you can manage. Make it brief and direct. And stay upbeat and positive. Praise your donor. Tell them you know they intend to give because you know how much they care. Assume in the tone and language that your donor simply has forgotten/just not got around to it due to the busyness of daily life (based upon my own experience, this is often true; many folks think they already gave and just need a reminder).
  • Call your most important lapsed donors. Who you call, and how many you call, will depend upon your own resources and the makeup of your donor base. Begin with those who’ve given the most, as well as those you believe have the greatest potential to become more major donors. Also take a look at those who’ve given consistently over a period of years.  These are your most likely future planned giving donors – the ones who might leave you a bequest. You don’t want to lose these folks, so find out why they may not have yet renewed.
  • If it’s been awhile since your monthly donors got a real thank you, consider a ‘thankathon’ this month and recruit board members, development committee members and/or other volunteers to help. If you’re a school, ask students to help.

Don’t forget to uncover new foundation and business donor prospects

Sometimes this gets put on the back burner. That’s a mistake, because you may be missing out on some potentially significant grants.

Securing this type of funding is often a matter of who you know. And the people you know today may not be available to you tomorrow.  So… never put off until tomorrow what you can do today!

Make it a point to ask your board, committee, donors, volunteers and staff to review their connections with you on a regular basis.  Here are some TIPS TO MAKE IT EASY for them:

  • Ask your board members to review a list of potential foundation and business supporters you’ve put together. Who do they know that works there? Or who serves as a trustee? How might they be able to help?
  • Do any of the suggestions on the list you prepared inspire them to provide additional suggestions (e.g., another prospective funder in the same industry)?

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