What Are the Benefits of Clean Donor Data?
You spend a fortune on a direct mail campaign only to have hundreds of letters sent back as undeliverable.
You send an email to a former table host to follow-up on your invite to this year’s annual gala…only to discover they moved and never received the physical invite in the mail.
Sound familiar? More often than not, situations like these are a result of dirty data.
One of the reasons clean donor data is difficult to maintain is because change is constant. In 2018, 2.2 million Americans got married. In 2019, roughly 34.2 million Americans will move. Every 4.2 years, Americans change their jobs. Every year, approximately 2.5 million Americans pass away.
Subsequently, millions of donors will have changed their names, addresses, and emails or become deceased. Having your donors’ most up-to-date information is more important than ever to keep your mission up and running.
There are many benefits of clean donor data. It:
- Brings down the email noise so that you are not annoying your supporters by emailing the same person via multiple addresses (work, personal, garbage account).
- Reduces direct mail waste (and donor drive costs) by consolidating duplicate mailing addresses by households, so your appeal is sent to the correct address for the correct season to the household.
- Assures your CRM is clean, accurate, and up-to-date for donor cultivation.
- Confirms a more precise intelligence picture of your donor base for your board, lessening the risk of failed development and donor acquisition strategies.
What Nonprofit Data Hygiene Solutions Are Available Now?
One of the most time and cost-effective ways to clean donor data is through third-party service providers. Most donor databases today have add-on tools for data hygiene, which are semi-automated and manually done for merging identity. They do this based off of exact matching of multiple fields (ex. searching for duplicate names, addresses, and phone numbers).
More advanced automation is coming into play with fuzzy matching and using more sophisticated addressing and name libraries (ex. when you look up Mike, also look up Michael). Overall, traditional non-AI based data hygiene tools are working well right now to grab low-hanging donor data. Now, let’s explore the future of data hygiene with AI.
Can AI help Clean Your Nonprofit Data in the Future?
By training the most popular subset of AI – machine learning (ML) – you can spot errors which are otherwise difficult to detect with standard data cleansing tools.
For example, a fundraising assistant can help with keystroke and missing data errors (ex. You meant to type in Eric but you typed Wric).
A fundraising assistant can help with graph analysis to hone in on identities based on relationships. Networks are increasingly critical to understand who people are, what they like, and for clean data purposes, their identities.
Lastly, a fundraising assistant can also help triangulate an identity and provide a confidence level by applying context (e.g., census data). For example, with third-party data, a fundraising assistant finds that there are 17 Eric’s in a particular area of Florida, and 5 of them have the same employer. A standard report would not be able to connect the dots to tell you the likelihood something is a coincidence versus a duplicate.
Simply put, AI can help you optimize your data hygiene efforts by exposing typos and gaps, connecting donor networks, and finding unobvious donor connections.
boodleAI is Piloting A FREE Data Hygiene Service
For a limited time, boodleAI is doing a pilot where you can get your nonprofit’s donor data cleaned for FREE. In exchange for this one-time service, participants are simply asked for a testimonial if they are happy with the results or feedback if they are not. Sign up now to get clean donor data for free.