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How to Maintain a Fundraising Database

How To Maintain a Fundraising Database-15
Staying Connected

For alumni, advancement, and foundation professionals, maintaining an active, up-to-date connection with members represents an ongoing challenge. As time moves forward, your once-intimate link with alumni can start to show cracks, leading to missed opportunities and diminished campaign effectiveness. 

Why Organizations Lose Touch with Alumni
  1. Frequent Residential Changes: According to data, Canadians frequently change their primary residence. In fact, about one in five Canadians move every year, representing a significant portion of your alumni base. 
  2. Reliance on Self-reporting: While institutions often rely on alumni to provide updated address information, not every member will remember or make the effort to relay these changes. Over time, this leads to an increasingly outdated database. 
  3. Digital Communication Shift: As more communication becomes digital, physical addreses are sometimes deprioritized, leading to a lack of updated records. 

The Domino Effect of an Outdated Database 

Relying solely on members for updated information has long-term consequences:

  • Cost Implications: Sending materials to outdated addresses leads to increased costs from returned mail and re-shipments. These additional expenses can put a strain on your department’s budget. 
  • Geo-targeting Issues: For campaigns that are region-specific, outdated addresses can skew your targeting, leading to less relevant communication for alumni and potentially decreased engagement.
  • Diminished Trust: Consistent communication mishaps might give alumni the impression of disorganization, which can tarnish the reputation of the institution. 

The Power of Third-party Data Services

Third-party data services can serve as a lifeline for institutions looking to reestablish or maintain strong connections with their alumni. These services:

  • Provide Address Update Information: With access to national databases, third-party services can update addresses with greater accuracy and frequency. 
  • Enhance Database Integrity: Regular scheduled database clean-ups can ensure your records are always current, leading to improved campaign outcomes. 
  • Offer Cost Savings: By ensuring each piece of communication reached its intended recipient, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and enhance ROI. 
How Cleanlist Helps

In a constantly shifting landscape, staying connected with alumni requires more than just hope and good intentions. By understanding the challenges and leveraging third-party data services, institutions can fortify their database, drive more impactful campaigns, and ensure a lasting connection with their alumni. 

Cleanlist has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by alumni, advancement, and foundation professionals. Cleanlist brings innovative solutions tailored specifically to the unique dynamics of alumni databases. Their proficiency not only lies in regular upkeep but also in the enrichment of databases. This ensures that each entry is not just current, but also, comprehensive. 

Drawing from a vast reservoir of data sources and leveraging cutting-edge technology, Cleanlist transforms passive alumni lists into dynamic engagement tools, ensuring that institutions stay consistently connected with their members, irrespective of how frequently Canadians change their residences. For any organization committed to maximizing its alumni outreach, partnering with Cleanlist is a step towards ensuring impeccable database health and campaign success. 

To learn more about our service, schedule a 30-minute virtual appointment with our experts. Make sure to ask about our free data audit report card. 

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