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Nonprofits are facing a unique set of challenges when it comes to resurrecting their annual funds. For many, the pressure of getting their annual budget back to the level at which it first operated is overwhelming.

But what if resurrecting your nonprofit’s annual fund wasn’t as hard to do as you first thought? What if there was a way to get your budget back on track without having to do a complete overhaul of your organization? The good news is that it’s entirely possible for you to resurrect your annual fund and overcome the challenges of today’s world… You just have to know where to look.

One Place Nonprofits Forget to Look for Annual Fund Dollars

While acquisition is an important area of focus for improving donor attrition,
the more important side of the equation is the number of lapsed donors. These folks have supported your organization in the past. You may have heard that it’s easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. That holds true in fundraising as well.

Reactivation is an often-overlooked strategy that focuses on those donors who gave at one time but have stopped giving.

The cardinal sin of fundraisers is to accept lapsed donors as just a part of life and then rush to replace them through acquisition. This doesn’t need to be a matter of acquisition OR retention. It’s actually a solution of intentional acquisition AND retention.

How to Integrate Reactivation into Your Fundraising Strategy

So many donors were lost over the past several years that reactivation must be a core tactic of your resurrection plan. Of course, this should lead you to ask some broader questions. If you’re ready to consider how to reactivate your lapsed donors as part of your overall annual fund strategy, here are some important questions to consider:

  1. What is our general retention strategy?
  2. What are we doing when a donor lapses, whether it’s a first-time donor or a renewing donor (one who gave a second gift but hasn’t given anything since then)?
  3. Do we implement a pre-lapse strategy to curtail donor drop-off when certain behaviors indicate that a donor may not give again?
  4. What is our reactivation strategy for those donors who haven’t renewed?

Taking the time to answer these questions is the first step in reactivating some of those lapsed donors who can play an important role in getting your annual fund back on track.

What is your nonprofit’s donor-reactivation strategy? How are you currently engaging them to consider giving again?