Data cleansing – it’s now or never for your Tax Appeal

Data cleansingYou have just finished the Christmas Appeal and you are already thinking tax-time, right? There is no rest time for today’s active fundraising program. Preparations for the Tax Appeal mean more than just writing copy, designing creative, and thinking about data segmentation. You also need to be thinking about data cleansing – it’s now or never.

Data cleansing activities

An overwhelming majority of charities in Australia do not regularly perform national change of address on their data file prior to a major mail out such as the Christmas or Tax Appeal. In fact, some data administrators would rather have a root canal than think about data cleansing. Let’s take the pain out of data cleansing and list the tasks which out to be done:

National Change of Address (NCOA)

Taking your file and matching it against the Australia Post PAF file is easy. Extracting the data from your CRM and matching to the PAF file is, in fact, the easy part. It does require a relationship with a supplier who may access the PAF file. Gaining new contact details for donors and prospects who have moved is a key benefit of NCOA. Further, gaining a flag for anyone who has moved and who has not made their new contact details available in the commercial space is a further benefit. New addresses mean you are able to get the Tax Appeal delivered to those you’ve lost contact with and not mailing those who you’ve lost contact with and cannot gain their new details means you will not waste postage and materials.

Data Enhancement

While you are working with a supplier to perform NCOA, take the time to enhance your data. Think about additional data elements available in the market and action the following:

  • New telephone phone numbers.
  • Validation of email addresses.
  • Acquisition of deceased, do not mail, and do not call flags.
  • Addition of presence of children and grandchildren flags.
  • Enhancement of constituent records with wealth indicators, such as property values and other holdings available.

Acquiring these enhancements will help not just with Tax Appeal, but with other campaigns in the future.

Do not delay. Action data cleansing and data enhancement now before you commence preparation of the data file for the Tax Appeal. Data cleansing and data enhancement takes time and these activities deserve the same attention as preparation of the mail pack. The results of your Tax Appeal depend on good data.