Return to sender mail – an ongoing pain point for most charities

Return to Sender

Your fundraising appeal raised lots of money but you received too many return to sender (RTS) mail pieces. The pain point will not resolve itself. If we don’t deal with RTS mail, history will repeat itself. We risk mailing to these same addresses during upcoming appeals and in between.

Following are four quick steps to clean data and to manage this pain point:

  1. Hire an intern or volunteer to code each address in your CRM system as RTS and to code the deceased.
  2. Engage a firm to standardise/assign a delivery point identifier to each address then match your data against National Change of Address data, acquire new addresses, provide a code for constituents who moved/opted to not provide their new address and import changed data into your CRM.
  3. Conduct these steps routinely.
  4. Measure the impact this data management exercise has on your fundraising. The exercise will cost, but consider it an investment in your donor retention.

Take action today. It is less costly to clean data for existing donors than it is to acquire a new donor.

This content of this article was originally published in Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine.