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How to Recapture LYBUNT and SYBUNT Nonprofit Donors This Year

Recapture LYBUNT and SYBUNT nonprofit donorsDevelopment professionals know that retaining donors is essential to any nonprofit organization. Retaining donors is a cost-effective way to raise support for any mission and is more economical than acquiring new donors. Recapturing lapsed donors or LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors is also an impactful strategy.

LYBUNT (last year but unfortunately not this) donors are those that gave a gift in the previous calendar or fiscal year but haven’t yet given this year. SYBUNT are donors who have given some year but unfortunately not this year.

These donors already know about your mission and believe in what you’re doing. These donors need you to reach out and remind them why they supported you in the first place. They need to feel engaged and appreciated.

You know recapturing LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors is essential, but you aren’t sure where to start. It can be as simple as 1, 2, 3. Review the data, communicate, and invite them to give.

Three Simple Steps to Recapturing LYBUNT and SYBUNT Donors:

1. Review LYBUNT and SYBUNT data from your database.

It’s critical to understand who your LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors are. Many databases can quickly run a report of these donors.

Raiser’s Edge, for instance, has this built right into its Analytical Reports.

If your software does not offer this report, you can compare a list of donors who gave last year to those who gave this year for the LYBUNT list. Determining what times of year you want to run these reports is helpful.

Development professionals may run reports at the end of the fiscal year or when creating mailing lists for the annual appeal.

2. Communicate with LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors multiple times through multiple channels

Development professionals know that every time you communicate with a donor, it should not contain an invitation to give. Nonprofits must build relationships with donors or, in the case of LYBUNT and SYBUNT, rebuild relationships by communicating often.

Thank these donors for past gifts, tell them what their contributions made possible, and provide an update.

You know your donors best and can determine which communication channel is right for each segment of donors. For some, email will suffice, while others may need a more personal touch.

Consider involving board members; a board member’s call can make a donor feel extra special.

3. Invite LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors to give again

Once you know your LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors and engage them through a communication strategy, it’s time to invite them to give again.

Send them a personalized and heartfelt letter inviting them to give to the mission they already care about. Remember to make the donor the hero of the story by telling them what they can help make possible.

Don’t forget to set personalized ask strings for every donor so you ask them for a gift that feels right to them. Apps like AskGenius can help eliminate the headaches of determining the ask amounts.

A strategy to recapture LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors can help raise more money for your appeal this year. Review the data, communicate with lapsed donors, and invite these donors to give again.

In the hustle of development work, when tasks like determining ask strings seem overwhelming, use automation tools to help! To learn more about tools like AskGenius to set personalized ask strings or AutomateGenius to automate tasks like drafting emails to first-time donors, visit today.


The blog was originally published July 12, 2021.

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