Donor Hygiene Article

We recently helped a client to clean their data and the results were astonishing.

This is what we found from washing a file of 16,000 donors.

465 Donors on the National Change of Address (NCOA) file.

The cost to re-connect with donors that have moved is minimal compared to the cost of acquiring a new one. There’s an added bonus to this one too. If others aren’t cleansing their data and using the new address, you’ll benefit from an uncluttered mailbox.

1,195 Donors identified as Return to Sender (RTS).

In this case the charity was easily wasting $7-8k a year mailing people that simply aren’t there.

174 Donors deceased.

There’s obviously a financial cost here, but much more importantly there’s the emotional distress you can cause by mailing a deceased loved one.

4,671 Phone numbers appended.

How many of your fundraising plans are thwarted by the ‘Yeah, but we don’t have very many phone numbers on our database’ excuse?

When that unexpected large gift comes in from your tax appeal (which it will, because you were smart and cleansed your data to make sure it got delivered) you want to be able to pick the phone up immediately and say thank you… and find out why…and invite your donor for a visit.

I know how easy it can be to push this one to the side, but it’s honestly one of the smartest things you can do to help your activity succeed.

It’s an investment – I’ve never seen a data cleanse that doesn’t return a financial benefit of several times its cost.