It’s not too late for non-profits to conduct data hygiene

DataEarlier this week, I wrote a blog post about the first Christmas Appeal received this year. It’s the only one received so far, which suggests others may still be navigating the many tasks they need to complete in order to drop their Christmas Appeal. As part of those tasks, it’s not too late for non-profits to conduct data hygiene!

Assuming some charitable organisations are behind with their Christmas appeal, perhaps the reason is data hygiene. One of the single most important steps prior to the Christmas appeal drop is the need to complete hygiene.

Some non-profit organisations take the important step to cleanse their data, while others do not. Those non-profit organisations who perform data hygiene, 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 of 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 not optional. 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.