One of the challenges many nonprofit organizations deal with is lapsed donors. Usually, a lapsed donor is defined as someone who has not given to your organization in 12 months or more. The reasons people lapse as donors are varied, but there are some common threads.

What Causes Lapsed Donors (& How to Get Them Back)

Here are some of the most common reasons people lapse as donors and how you can get them back:

  • They no longer feel connected to your mission: This is often the case when people first donate to an organization. They are excited about the mission and want to support it. But over time, they may lose touch with what’s going on and feel like their donation isn’t making a difference. The most effective way to combat this is to keep donors updated on your progress and how their donations are being used.
  • They don’t believe their donation is making a difference: This is closely related to the first reason, but it’s worth mentioning separately. When donors feel like their money isn’t going to a good cause or that it’s not being used effectively, they’re much less likely to continue giving. Make sure you are transparent about where donations go and their impact.
  • They don’t remember to give: This is often the case with people who make one-time donations or only give sporadically. They may simply forget about your organization and never think to donate again. Overcome this challenge by staying in touch and reminding them of your mission regularly. You could even set up a recurring donation so they don’t have to think about it each time.
  • They’re experiencing financial hardship themselves and can’t afford to give: This is a difficult one to overcome, but it’s important to remember that people’s financial situations can change anytime. If someone suddenly finds themselves in a position where they can’t afford to give, don’t give up on them. Stay in touch and let them know you’re still there when they’re ready to start giving again.
  • They’ve had a bad experience: This could be anything from feeling like their donation wasn’t used effectively to feeling like they weren’t appreciated as a donor. Whatever the case may be, it’s vital to reach out and try to make things right. Sometimes all it takes is a sincere apology and assurance that things will be different going forward.

There you have it! These are some of the top reasons people lapse as donors and how you can get them back.

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