Data cleansing is everyone’s job in a non-profit organisation or university

MS QueenslandDo you think the dirty data in your CRM is the responsibility of one person or a team in your non-profit organisation or at your university? When there are data issues, it is easy to point the blame to a data manager or the supporter services team. Likewise, where there are data issues, you and your colleagues likely participated in created those issues. So, why not participate in fixing those data issues? In truth, data cleansing is everyone’s job in a non-profit organisation or university.

No one person or team is able to handle the volume of potential data issues across a non-profit organisation or university advancement office. In fact, each one of us touch records in our CRM each and every day. We ought to participate in the effort to clean them by taking the time to check the obvious in a record before we save or close out the record.

How to Participate

Each time you open a record in your CRM, you are in possession of that record. It might be for just a moment or it may be for an hour or more. Data elements such as contact details, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, and communication preferences can quickly be scanned and checked. If you are in contact with the individual or organisation, take the time to CEE (Confirm, Edit and Enhance) the record before you end the contact. Confirm their contact details are correct; if not, Edit the contact details; and, of course, see what is missing in the record, and Enhance the record by recording the missing items. Things like birthday, email address or mobile numbers are often times the most missed (and becoming the most important) data elements.

MS QueenslandMS Queensland

Recently, I received my annual survey from MS Queensland asking me my opinions about their Limited Edition Art Union. People love to be asked their opinions, which most non-profit organisations and universities would well understand and appreciate. After all, most non-profit organisations and universities conduct an annual survey in one way, shape, or form. However, MS Queensland is a unique organisation. MS Queensland not only seek opinions of their valued lottery ticket purchasers, but they also ask the supporter to CEE their own data. How do they get a high rate of responses? They offer a fantastic prize. This year – MS Queensland offered a brand new iPhone XS Max.

Offering a chance to win a luxury prize simply by giving your opinion makes a lot of sense for MS Queensland because the lottery is all about luxury prizes and the survey sought opinions about whether to expand the range of prizes offered. Offering such a prize may not be feasible and may also not be a good match for all non-profit organisations.

You have shared responsibilities for good data hygiene with your data manager/data team. Own it. Take the time to play your role and be a true partner to those who are ultimately responsible for the oversight of your CRM.