Thanks to the growth in digitalism and the advent of smart technology, we’re more connected than ever

The result is that we as consumers demand more personalised, seamless experiences across every single touchpoint.

Charities or not-for-profits aren’t immune from this and delivering a seamless experience to supporters to gain their trust and loyalty requires good quality data as a fundamental starting point.

Experian work with a number of leading charities to help deliver a solid foundation of accurate contact data that will support targeted fundraising and better insight. Here are the top reasons why accurate contact data matters more than ever for charities.

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1. Improve your reputation and supporter experience

According to The Charity Digital Skills Report[1], 51% charities rank using data and insights more effectively to improve services and operations as a priority. Whether you’re engaging with your supporters through direct mail, email, online, in-person or over the phone – accurate contact data will help your fundraising efforts to be as effective and efficient as possible. You’ll be able to target your supporters with the right messages, at the right time, in the right place and see better returns from these outreach efforts.

49% of charities see online fundraising as a priority. With accurate contact data you can analyse your donors to understand the profile of your best supporters, and target them with refined and informed messaging, through their preferred digital channels. You will also gain an understanding of who you shouldn’t target and can suppress these contacts from your activity to make funding go further. In addition, suppressions data can help avoid situations such as targeting the recently bereaved.

In today’s digital age, consumers have high expectations. They are conditioned to expect seamless experiences, and with the retail sector in particular making continual customer experience advancements, the charity sector must keep up.

2. Build more efficient day-to-day operations

From successful GiftAid submission to generating lists for email campaigns and outbound calling – accurate data is a vital component to powering efficient operations for charities.

For example, to maximise GiftAid revenue you want to ensure the contact data in your submission files is valid and correct. And if you’re using direct mail you can ensure you’re not wasting resources by mailing people at old addresses.

We’re now bringing our high-volume Race for Life website in-house, but with an estimated 1 million postcode look ups a year, it simply wouldn’t have been possible without the flexibility and scalability that a cloud based solution brings us. People quite rightly focus on the front-of-house work of Cancer Research UK, but address capture in the cloud is one of the unsung heroes that help to make our important work happen.

Fiona Hutchison, Cancer Research UK

You can read more on how Cancer Research saves time and money with real-time address capture in our case study here.

3. Support your regulatory efforts

Regulation is vital in today’s digital world as businesses and charities work to engage with their audiences whilst ensuring the privacy and protection of data subjects is respected. It will be five years since the European Parliament introduced GDPR and it’s only one of the many regulations that organisations need to be conscious of. But it’s important to consider how GDPR is actually an opportunity to better your relationship with supporters, build trust and improve your reputation.

Keeping your contact data up-to-date and accurate over time is essential to ensure you maintain your compliance efforts and respond to subject access requests (SARs), data loss events and the other requirements of the GDPR and similar data-related regulations.

4. Pave the way for future innovation

Now for the fun part:

Once you have the foundations of good quality data, you’re in a strong position to be innovative and take your supporter experience, communications and brand to the next level.

This could be in the form of the creation of a single supporter view, one that moves to combine analytics with database technology and data enrichment to develop a deeper, more meaningful understanding of customers, their needs and motivations.

With this in place, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can do with it.

Caritas Australia experienced data quality issues which affected their ability to communicate with donors and resulted in higher costs for their fundraising campaigns.

With 370,000 records in their Salesforce CRM, the Fundraising Team recognised that donor contact data needed to be cleaned and tools put in place to capture accurate data across their donor touchpoints moving forward.

Caritas Australia use Experian’s real-time data validation solutions for addresses, email addresses and phone numbers within their Salesforce CRM and website. The charity recognised that it was important to have comprehensive data quality checks in place across the various platforms where contact data is captured. This included the Salesforce CRM, marketing preference centre and donation website. Implementing these checks and improving data quality generated an overall increase in active donors of 5%, and a 76% increase in donations from direct marketing campaigns.

Using and managing data effectively continues to be a top goal for charities. Without a strong data foundation in place many charities struggle to deliver against their strategic goals and programmes; and innovate to drive greater success.
Don’t miss out on your chance to do the stand-out stuff because you don’t have the basics in place!

Where to start

In summary, here are our 3 actionable tips to make the most of your data and enhance your fundraising efforts.

  1. Use validation tools: Using email, mobile and address validation at point of capture will ensure only valid data is entering your system. And a bulk cleanse will clean all the data you already hold.
  2. Consider suppression data: Using suppression data on top of contact data validation can offer benefits that are particularly relevant to charities. For example, you can avoid the unfortunate situation of upsetting bereaved relatives if inappropriate letters, emails or calls are made. You can also identify supporters who have moved house by using the Gone Away Suppression file. Not only does this activity help you maintain your reputation, but it also avoids cost, time and manual intevention dealing with poor quality data and helps with fraud risk reduction, ensuring that you’re more likely to reach the right person.
  3. Enhance your data: We’ve also got an extensive array of datasets that will give you even more insight and a greater understanding of your supporters beyond what you know of them from your own data. This will help you better target your communications and create more personalised experiences.

How can we help?

Accurate contact data is the foundation that will support targeted fundraising and better insight. We can help you to use both your own data and enrichment data to gain an enhanced level of supporter insight.

We can help refine your not-for-profit data to deliver better services while improving checks and compliance across your entire organisation.

Get in touch

Ready for a conversation? Our charity experts are on hand to understand and support your data quality needs.

Get in touch

[1] Charity digital skills report 2022, Zoe Amar Digital / Think Social Tech

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