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[Question Marc] How to re-engage a hard-to-reach major donor

Question: How have you successfully re-engaged a major donor who was challenging to reach?

Great question. A big thing is to keep mixing up the communication. Often I find fundraisers favor one form of communication. Or maybe two. They’ll email and email and email. Then decide that the person is hard to reach. Really, they may only be hard to reach by email.

So call, email, text, message through LinkedIn, DM in Facebook, find out what meetings they’re at and show up. (I had one client who weekly “just happened” to be around the staircase a leader was walking down after his staff meeting!)

Since the person has given in the past, it’s also important to continue sharing gratitude. Specific gratitude. Not just “your gift made a difference” but also “here’s a story of one person helped.” You have great stories.

If that doesn’t work, I’d also look to your board and other donors to see how might have a relationship with her.

Finally, don’t give up. I called/texted/emailed one donor each week for six months before finally connecting. When we connected, he thanked me and apologized to me!

So don’t grow weary in doing good.

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