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Low Hanging Fruit: Reactivate Lapsed Donors

This is the same strategy that direct mailers have been using for decades.   It’s incredibly simple and effective because it targets an audience that has already found your organization, knows what you do, and loved it so much that they already wrote you a check. It’s time to remind them that your cause has not gone away, and their support is as important now as it was back then.

  1. Identify your lapsed donors. This should be a segment that has not given in at least a year for most organizations.

  2. Identify your most effective email campaign. You’ve already put the work in to develop an effective campaign and successful appeals.

  3. Modify this campaign to be relevant. A lot of successful campaigns are time pertinent – disaster relief, elections, etc. Without reinventing a new campaign, make sure that you repurpose the content and appeals of this old campaign to fit current events and initiatives.

  4. Have an action ready for this audience. Don’t just try to remind them of who you are. Remind them of how they can help right then and there. This is a common mistake in nonprofit appeals.

  5. Send.

  6. Keep them engaged for good this time. Or at least take another bight at the apple!

Not only does this strategy piggyback off of work you’ve already done, but it also starts long-term donor relations. By reactivating a donor, you not only gain their next donation or action, but it sets a precedent for a long-term relationship as a supporter for your organization. The impact of this strategy extend well beyond the campaign you just repurposed.

Have you successfully reactivated donors, advocates, or email subscribers? Share you experience and advice below.

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