Turn lapsed donors into current donors

Do you have a list of donors who haven’t given in a few years? If you’re like many fundraisers, that list is collecting dust. But a list of lapsed donors has much more potential than a list of prospects. After all, your lapsed donors are people who for one reason or another have already donated to your organization. The  Chronicle of Philanthropy recently held a discussion on the topic of lapsed donors. Here are some tips from that discussion: Don’t just ask, How do we get back lapsed donors? Ask the real question: Why have these people started giving to other charities instead of us? That’s advice from Colin V. French, executive director of the Boy Scouts of America National Foundation. The answer may be that donors haven’t given in a while because you haven’t stayed in touch with them or because you aren’t telling your story as effectively as other charities.  Mark Moshier, who leads the Council Funding Team of the Finance Impact Department for the Boy Scouts, said that the more communication you have with donors, the better.  The communication should be focused on issues that appeal to donors. He suggests newsletters that supporters can read while they open the mail. If it goes in the “I’ll- read-it-when-I-have-more-time pile,” it will most likely go unread. Share personal success stories of participants in your program, even if you can’t use the actual name of the person. Read the entire transcript of the discussion at http://philanthropy.com/live/2009/08/reconnect

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