doctor typing on ipad

Reaching Out to Past Donors 

DonorScape helps quickly identify top donor prospects so you can fundraise efficiently, but this particular blog is not about how much to ask for. This blog is about how to reconnect with past or lapsed donors. Which may sound like it is a little outside of my wheel house, but it is industry related and I do have a background as a volunteer, so I’m going to put in my two-cents.

DonorScape lets organizations refresh their previously screened donors, so even if it has been a while since someone was screened or reached out to, front line fundraisers and prospect researchers can still approach these donors with accurate information. You can be sure you’re making the right ask now that you have trustworthy insights into the updated gift potential.

Actually reaching out to past donors can be awkward even with precise information. Especially depending on how long it’s been since they donated, knowing what to say and how to say it might be unclear.

                Where have you been? We miss you…

                It’s been a while, come see what’s new

                While you’ve been away…

All of these are great email subject lines, but what comes next? It is definitely helpful to have something new to talk about. Seeing what their past donations have been used for is a great way to renew their interest in your organization. Having a particular success story from your organization is also proof that you have been doing something worthwhile with the funds you’ve been given. You may also mention an upcoming event that your organization is putting on.

If your organization has nothing going on, no success stories, and no new developments, what are you even doing? I’m kidding- sort of. If all of those things are still in the works and unfinished, ask past donors honestly. Why are you calling today? If you can’t answer that question with a compelling answer, you probably should not be reaching out.

                “We’re planning a new resource center for campus.”

                “We’re trying to reach our goal of 10,000 spays/neuters this year.”

                “We’re producing a children’s opera to inspire their interest in this art form.”

                “We’re trying to update all the computer equipment on campus.”

                “We’re restoring a series of famous artworks.”

Reaching out to past donors can be awkward, but having a clear discussion topic will help drive the conversation and hopefully compel lapsed donors to give once again.

Happy re-screening and good luck,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *