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Fundraising Peers Weigh-In on What To Do With Lapsed Donors...And More!

Resource Center - Foundation

One of the biggest nonprofit sounding boards is right at your fingertips—AFP’s official group on LinkedIn, On Fundraising. Over 17,000 of your peers are a part of this nonprofit group and they are all there to mentor each other, and you! When one of your peers posed the question, “How long do you keep someone who has stopped donating on your mailing list?” 19 of your peers chimed-in on the issue.

Because at least one of your fundraising peers has bound to have, “been there, done that”, it’s likely that they have some sound advice to pass on. In this case, 19 of them had something to lend, and the asker now has a plethora of information, tips, samples and leads on how to best move forward. In today’s world, we call that “winning”.

For those that are curious, the consensus among the 19 responses to the group member’s question was that you should NEVER remove a donor from your mailing list, no matter how long it’s been since their last engagement. Several of your peers used direct examples from their experiences, including one from a trust officer who said that “older” donors can remain interested and committed, even if they have stopped giving.  It’s possible that they have added you to their estate plan and know you will eventually be taken care of.

Another suggestion from the group was to move your non-responsive donors to a separate mailing list and tailor your communications to them. You should always tailor your communications to match your donors’ preferences, and soliciting to them differently—using specific tactics for lapsed donors—is no exception.

Not only did the comments guide the asker in the right direction, but they also charged them to think outside-the-box. Your peers are some of the best drivers of your determination and can encourage you to take an even deeper look into the challenges your nonprofit may be facing. One comment did just that when they posed the question, “For me, the bigger question is why have they stopped donating and what can you do to bring them back?” That got the asker thinking on a much broader scale.

Now It’s Your Turn

Don’t be shy—get involved in the discussions! As someone involved in the nonprofit community, we are all looking to “pay it forward”. So, whether you have a question to “pay forward”, or you’re an expert on one of the discussions posed and have some advice to “pay forward”, the AFP On Fundraising LinkedIn group is the place to be.

Check out the discussions happening on LinkedIn NOW to see if you, your organization or a colleague you know can help guide your peers:



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