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Using ExactAsk to Reconnect with Lapsed Donors


For a nonprofit, a good donor is often worth their weight in gold — almost literally.  According to Nonprofit Quarterly, winning over a new donor typically costs two to three times what that donor first contributes, meaning it can take over a year for the donor relationship to get ‘in the black.’

With such a significant upfront investment required to win even a single donor, a lapsed donor represents a huge potential waste of time and resources. You’ve worked and sweated, you’ve cajoled, charmed and courted to make the connection — why risk losing them and having all your hard work amount to nothing?

One-Time Donation Versus Every-Time Donation

In the world of development teams, nothing beats a recurring donor. Even when comparing a single large donation to a smaller monthly amount, while one-time donors may make up the majority of the names on a given donor list, on average monthly donors give 42 percent more over the course of a year than one-time donors.

One key to this is having a suggested donation amount, as opposed to just an open-ended imploration to “give as much as you can.” A lapsed donor may spot this and give less than they can or simply shut down to the possibility of giving altogether.

Turning ‘Can’ into ‘Will’

What development teams need to do is pinpoint not just a donor’s capacity — How much CAN they give? but also their willingness How much WILL they give? Turning a ‘can donate’ into a ‘will donate’ is often simply a matter of providing your donors with a suggested donation amount. On average, recurring gift amounts are 43 percent bigger when donors are presented with a specified ask amount.

But what about those lapsed donors? Surely just calling or sending them an email asking them to donate isn’t enough to entice them back, especially if the amount you are asking for doesn’t match their willingness or capacity.

Personalized Ask Amounts

That’s where ExactAsk can help. More than simply a suggested donation, ExactAsk provides development teams with the tools to create a personalized ask amount. That way, each time you come to the donor asking for money, you are coming into the conversation knowing the number they already have in their head that they are willing to donate.

ExactAsk has already been shown to be greatly effective for lifting lapsed donor conversion rates and boosting revenue derived from lapsed donors. Royal Inland Hospital, a British Columbia based medical facility, saw a 120 percent increase in lapsed donor conversion rates as well as 32 percent rise in revenue derived from those lapsed donors after engaging with ExactAsk.

Using predictive algorithms, ExactAsk was able to identify donors who would be willing to give more with 90 percent accuracy. This led to a 63 percent increase in donations of $100 and above, for an overall increase of 16 percent in revenue for the entire campaign.

To learn more about how using personalized ask amounts can enable you to better connect with lapsed donors, schedule a briefing today.