Breathing New Life into a Lapsed Base: How the American Lung Association Achieved 50% Growth

TitleReviving a Lapsed Base: ALA's 50% Growth StoryDescriptionDiscover how the American Lung Association re-engaged lapsed members and achieved remarkable 50% growth through personalized campaigns and a unified data platform.
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Re-Engage Lapsed Members: How Sequence Consulting Partnered with the ALA to Win Back Donors

Engaged donors are the oxygen that keeps non-profits alive. Without a passionate and committed donor base, vital missions can struggle to breathe. This was the very real challenge faced by the American Lung Association (ALA), a leading organization in the fight for lung health. Their situation was critical – a staggering 75% of their donors hadn’t interacted with them in over a year, and new donors were vanishing just as quickly. 

The ALA urgently needed a strategy to re-engage lapsed members and ensure a healthy future for their fight against lung disease

Enter Sequence Consulting: Expertise to Reinvigorate Engagement

In a bid to reverse this concerning trend, the ALA recognized the need for expert guidance. They partnered with Sequence Consulting, a firm known for its success in helping non-profits re-engage lapsed members and cultivate thriving memberships. Sequence brought a wealth of experience to the table, with their team led by the seasoned CMO, Julia Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald boasted a proven track record, possessing the strategic know-how to reignite donor passion and propel the ALA’s fundraising efforts forward.

Tailoring Technology for Maximum Impact

Sequence Consulting played a pivotal role in helping the ALA leverage the power of their new Salesforce Marketing Cloud investment. They guided the ALA in:

    • Identifying Data Gaps: Sequence collaborated with the ALA to identify and address any inconsistencies or missing information within their donor data. This ensured that the Salesforce platform would be populated with clean and accurate data, crucial for segmentation and personalized communication.
    • Crafting a Winning Strategy: Sequence worked closely with the ALA to develop a comprehensive re-engagement roadmap. This included setting achievable goals, segmenting audiences based on past behavior and interests, and crafting compelling messaging that resonated with each group.
    • Building a Performance Dashboard: Sequence helped design a user-friendly dashboard that tracked key campaign metrics, allowing the ALA to monitor progress and make data-driven adjustments in real-time.

Streamlined Communications for Increased Engagement

Sequence Consulting’s expertise proved instrumental in optimizing the ALA’s communication strategy. They helped with:

    • Developing the Welcome Stream: Sequence collaborated on the design of the interactive Welcome Stream, ensuring it not only collected information but also fostered early engagement with new donors.
    • Crafting Personalized Drip Campaigns: Sequence’s team guided the development of targeted email sequences for lapsed donors, using persuasive language and leveraging past donation history to rekindle their connection with the ALA’s mission.

New member welcome stream? Game changer. Lapsed member winback campaign? Game changer.

Beyond Technology: Building Long-Term Success

Sequence Consulting’s impact went beyond just technology implementation. They provided invaluable guidance on:

    • Establishing achievable goals: Sequence collaborated with the ALA to set realistic targets for reactivating lapsed donors and welcoming new ones, ensuring a clear path to success.
    • Building internal capacity: Sequence empowered the ALA team by providing training and mentorship, equipping them with the skills to continue crafting successful campaigns in the future.

Breathing New Life into Donor Engagement

By implementing a data-driven donor engagement strategy, the ALA achieved a 50% increase in active donors, revived lapsed relationships, and secured a sustainable pipeline of new supporters.

    • Active Donor Surge: The ALA’s active donor base experienced a phenomenal 50% growth in just two years, signifying a major win in re-engagement efforts.
    • Rekindled Connections: Eight percent of lapsed donors, even those who had been inactive for years, were successfully reactivated, demonstrating the effectiveness of the campaign in winning back past supporters.
    • Skyrocketing Engagement: Email engagement rates soared, indicating a renewed interest from the donor base and a stronger connection with the ALA’s mission.
    • Resurging Retention: Both first-year and multi-year donor retention rates saw a significant boost, highlighting the project’s success in fostering long-term relationships with supporters.
    • Sustainable Growth: The ALA now welcomes a steady influx of 4,000 net new donors every month, solidifying a sustainable pipeline of support for their critical work.

Takeaways to Re-Engage Lapsed Members

This case study showcases the American Lung Association’s (ALA) remarkable turnaround in donor engagement. By investing in a unified data platform, segmenting audiences, and crafting personalized communication through multi-touch campaigns, the ALA was able to re-engage lapsed members and nurtured stronger relationships with new ones. 

The project’s success highlights the importance of data-driven strategies, targeted messaging, and a focus on building long-term donor relationships for sustainable growth within the non-profit sector.

To read more about how Sequence can re-engage lapsed members, please see Baby, Come Back! How to Win Back Lapsed Members and Why You Should.

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