Data cleansing is task #1 when preparing for your Christmas Appeal

Dirty DataThere has been a lot of talk about upcoming Christmas Appeal. It may be August, but non-profit organisations are already preparing their data files and copy for what becomes the second most important campaign of the year for most charities. As part of those tasks, it’s not too late for non-profits to conduct data cleansing. Data hygiene is task #1 when preparing your Christmas Appeal.

Some non-profit organisations take the important step to cleanse their data, while many others do not. Those non-profit organisations who perform data cleansing, perform this task at least one time per year.

Data cleansing includes, but is not limited to, high level activities such as:

  • National Change of Address (NCOA).
  • De-duplication of constituent records.
  • Data enrichment, including:
    • Deceasing flags for records
    • Do not mail flag.
    • Do not call flag.
  • Other important mass data management practices.

As suggested in prior FundraisingForce blog posts, dirty data gets you nowhere…except broke. Proper data cleaning prior to dropping the all-important tax and Christmas appeals is a non-negotiable. Do you put this in the “too hard” basket? Hire an expert like FundraisingForce who will guide you through the process, management of suppliers, and develop a process for you to follow for years to come.

Don’t assume someone else will do this task – whether you are assuming the mail house does it or someone else on your internal team. Develop a process to get this task done and to ensure the cleansed data makes it was back to your organisations CRM. To merely cleanse the file for the appeal and to not load the clean data back to the CRM (a common mistake made by charitable organisations) is like cleaning your child and putting them back on the playground.