Every donor – past and present – is important and should be treated as such. Even a one-time donation of $1 shows interest and support for your project or cause. A problem many organizations have is turning past, or lapsed, donors into return supporters. If you are ready to reconnect with past donors, here is a plan to guide you.


It is hard to reconnect with lapsed donors if you do not know who they are. To help you target these supporters, create a new segment in your email database to label those who have not donated in the past year. Even if you currently do not practice email marketing, you can use this list to retarget past donors on social media (such as through targeted Facebook ads).

Personalize (where possible)

When contacting any donors, but particularly those who you have not heard from in a while, you should personalize your communication with information you have at hand. Good information to use is when they last donated, an update on any projects they supported, and, at the very least, greet them by their first name. You can use merge fields in your email or CRM software to automate this process.

For those who you consider major donors, it would be best to reach out with a fully personalized communication. Really let them know you miss them and their support.

Let them know they are missed and why they should come back

Build an emotional connection; people like to know they are important and missed. As mentioned above, let them know their past support was appreciated and give them an update on that project. Also, be sure to let them know why they should come back and support your organization again by letting them know what you are currently working on and what you are currently accomplishing with the generosity of donors like them.

Leave them with a call to action

There are many ways to do this. It is easy to just ask for another donation, but there are other ways to reconnect again. Invite them to an upcoming event, inform them about volunteer opportunities, and ask them to follow you on your social media accounts to stay updated on current and future projects.

Connect in multiple ways

Do not just reach out in one way; utilize multiple avenues to get your organization in front of their eyes often. You can re-connect via direct mail, email, phone, video, or social media. A great way to inform donors of current projects is to use Instagram and Facebook boosted posts and ads to retarget them. You can do this by building a custom audience from your segmented email list in Facebook Ad Manager or through MailChimp.

If you need help brainstorming ideas and implementing a strategy to connect with past donors, send us a message today!


Create a Facebook custom audience: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/381385302004628
Utilize your MailChimp email list to setup targeted Facebook ads: https://mailchimp.com/features/facebook-ads/

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