Reach Out to Lapsed Donors

Donors don’t tend to realize that they have stopped giving — or realize how long it’s been since they last gave to your ministry. But those who do stop giving intentionally — whether they’re angry or financially strapped or otherwise — tend to notice the ministry’s attention to their lapse. Did they receive a polite note? A call? It’s easy for a “focused donor” — one who’s really thinking about her relationship with your ministry — to feel ignored.

In many cases, an intentionally lapsed donor has a keen sense of where the ministry fell short of her MIQs (“most important qualities”). The ministry disappointed her in the very area she valued most highly, and as a result, the ministry has become less important to her.

But if we don’t get a signal from the donor, aside from silence, how can we know for sure if a donor has intentionally stopped giving, and whether this is a hostile lapse (“I’m mad at you”), an involuntary lapse (“Sorry, I’m broke”), or an inadvertent lapse (“I didn’t realize it had been so long since I gave!”)? We’ve got to ask. A simple note may do the job — a message that says, in essence, “You’ve meant a lot to us, your support has made a real impact, but if our records are right, it seems you haven’t given in a while. Is everything okay?”

*Like what you read and want to learn more? Check out, The Disappearing Donor: Where Your Ministry’s Lapsed Givers Went, and Why


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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