3 Tips for Turning Warm Prospects into Donors

December 11, 2017 - by Jordanna Sussman

What do your volunteers, event participants, newsletter subscribers, Facebook “likers” and lapsed donors all have in common?  They are all also known as warm prospects and prime candidates to become your newest donors! 
 
Below are three tips that will help you start converting those (free!) non-donor names in your database into donors. 
 
1. Go Back to Your Old Friends
 
The definition of an "active" donor varies among different organizations, and is often based on when a person last gave.  No matter when an "active" donor becomes "lapsed" according to your organization, that person should become a prime candidate for reinstatement as part of an acquisition mailing.  
 
Acquisitions are a great way of reactivating lapsed donors into active donors because the acquisition appeal package is likely the reason why the lapsed donor made their first gift in the first place.  The strong case for support found in a successful acquisition package is usually the most effective way to reactivate lapsed donors. 
 
These lapsed donors are free names and are likely to give again, and once reactivated, have a higher lifetime value.
 
2. Look at More Than Just Recency
 
Sure, lapsed names are great candidates for reactivation, but there are other people in your database who are likely to convert, too!  Whether they are event participants, action takers, volunteers, newsletter subscribers, in-kind givers … anyone who already knows about your mission is a prime target for conversion.  
 
It’s a great test to mail them in acquisition, email them, call them … try different approaches to see how they respond to a request for financial support. 
 
3.  Tap into Your Social Media Networks
 
Does your organization have a Facebook page? Twitter or Instagram account?  Like the warm prospects in your database, people who are connected to your mission on social media are also conversion prospects.  Try repurposing fundraising opportunities that you’re already pushing out in the mail or in email like a year-end holiday ask, #GivingTuesday or a matching gift opportunity into social media posts that link to your online donation page. 
 
No matter which strategies you choose to try, the most important thing is to take advantage of what your database has to offer and fully realize the potential of your warm prospects!