Where did you go?
A donor can leave you and never know it.
Ask a lapsed donor if his giving habits have changed, even over as long a span as the past two years, and he’ll tend to say no. Not only are these donors somewhat oblivious to our ministries, many of them are also not thinking a great deal about their own giving.
But ask a lapsed donor how recently he has given to a certain ministry, and he will probably give you a much more recent date than the record shows — typically it’s been twice as long as she recalls. He thinks of himself as far more loyal than he is!
(And a lapsed donor who thinks of himself as having given in the past six months typically feels just as much affinity for the ministry as an active donor does!)
In fact, over the course of our interviews, we found that donors regularly contradicted themselves when discussing their giving to ministries. They are generally not dialed in to this subject. Certainly a few donors are quite deliberate about their giving, and another small percentage are completely clueless — but the vast majority in the middle are simply too busy to focus on this issue, because of everything else going on in their lives. They are completely capable of failing to give to your ministry for years and honestly believe it’s only been a few months.
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