As a nonprofit professional, you know that reaching out to your supporters is an essential part of your fundraising and marketing strategy. You’ve built relationships with these people, and in order to strengthen them, you must stay in touch using effective communication. However, you might not have all of the correct contact information that will allow you to connect with your supporters. That’s where address appends come into play.
Donors, volunteers, and board members among other supporters have probably provided you with information such as their email addresses or phone numbers on registration or lead forms. Other information such as mailing addresses may be more difficult to obtain, especially if you don’t want to ask people outright for their addresses.
An address append will allow you to take existing supporter data to verify someone’s identity and fill in the missing postal address information. Instead of directly asking your supporters for their addresses, you can work with an address append service to efficiently obtain that information and keep your direct mailing efforts alive.
Now you know that address appends could be useful to your organization, but what exactly are they? We will answer the following questions to help you better understand the basics of an address append:
- What Is an Address Append?
- Why Are Address Appends Useful?
- How Do Address Appends Work?
- What If I’m Missing Other Information?
- How Can My Nonprofit Use Address Appends?
- How Do I Choose the Right Address Append Service Provider?
At Double the Donation, we make matching gifts easy for nonprofits. We know the importance of efficiency and easy access to the data you need to grow your organization. That’s why we’re providing you this guide to address appends to make sure your nonprofit has the information it needs to reach its supporters.
What Is An Address Append?
An address append when you use an online database or service to find the correct, most recent mailing address for someone based on other information about them such as their name, phone number, or email address.
With address appends, you can send direct mail to individuals without having to ask them for their mailing address. You can also use these services to verify that the past postal address you have for someone is still accurate. Therefore, address appends make it easier for nonprofits to communicate with their supporters without having to scour the Internet for the necessary information.
Why Are Address Appends Useful?
You might be wondering why address appends are important, especially if most of your marketing occurs online. However, direct mail is still an effective marketing method that your organization should leverage.
With the help of address appends, your organization could put together a stellar direct mail campaign. Additionally, address appends are useful because they can help you do the following:
- Change up your marketing methods. These days, many nonprofits solely focus on digital marketing. While digital marketing is certainly a great way to reach people, don’t forget the old-school methods of communication! Adding direct mail to your mix of marketing efforts will allow you to reach supporters in a different and perhaps more engaging way.
- Keep direct mail alive for a personal touch. Getting a physical letter in the mail is always more personal than an email or social media message sent with the click of a button. Your supporters will recognize the thought that went into sending them real mail.
- Segment your marketing campaigns. When you have a full picture of who your supporters are, you can communicate with them more effectively. Knowing more about the location of your supporters can help you customize the mail you send to them based on their location. For example, if you’re hosting an event in Atlanta, GA, you’ll likely only want to send mail about the event to nearby supporters who may be able to attend.
- Update supporter contact information. It’s possible that you already have mailing addresses for some of your supporters. Luckily, address appends also account for address changes to ensure all of your supporter contact information is up to date.
- Reduce the time you spend researching supporter data. Think about how time-consuming it would be to manually search public records and other information sources to pluck out the addresses you’re looking for. Address append services save you time that you can allocate to more important projects and tasks.
- Maximize your target audience. The more correct mailing addresses you have on file, the more people you can send mail to who could actually contribute to the cause or event you’re informing them about. Sending direct mail to people is important, but sending it to the right people is even more vital.
- Save money you could be wasting by sending mail to the wrong addresses. Not only is it a waste of time and energy to send mail to incorrect addresses, but it’s also a huge waste of your nonprofit’s marketing budget! Direct mail campaigns are naturally more expensive than digital marketing campaigns, but the investment can be worth it if you’re sending mail to people you know will give back to your organization.
Clearly, address append data can help you learn more about your supporters and in turn run a successful direct mail campaign. However, you’re probably curious about how address append services obtain the information you need. Let’s take a closer look at the process so you can experience all the great benefits of postal address appending.
How Do Address Appends Work?
As we’ve mentioned previously, an address append service can make the process extremely easy for nonprofits. Before reaching out to a provider, you’ll want to make sure you understand how the process works, so you’re fully prepared.
The way address appends work is that you first provide an address append service with the existing supporter information in your CRM. It works best if you give them as much information as possible, which could include:
- A unique identification number
- Email address
- Phone number
- College or university
- Class year and major/degree
- Last donation amount
- Date of last donation
- Date entry was last updated
After receiving your supporters’ information, an address append service provider will match that information with the data they have in their own database or find in public records.
While the process is pretty straightforward, you may be wondering how these address append services know that the information they’re providing you is correct. The answer is that they typically ensure the information is accurate before they send it to you by performing different types of accuracy scans and checks. Some may even provide an accuracy rating so you have an idea of how accurate the data you’re receiving is.
What If I’m Missing Other Information?
You might just be missing mailing addresses from your supporters, but you could also be missing other information. Not to worry, though! Most address append services also supply nonprofits with other types of appends, including:
- Employer appends. Employer appends are great for locating corporate giving opportunities.
- Email appends. With email appends, you can improve your email marketing campaigns.
- Phone number appends. Text or call your supporters with phone number appends.
- Date of birth appends. Date of birth appends allow you to segment your supporters by age and offer special birthday perks.
If your organization is looking for other categories of information in addition to address appends, most data append services will append everything at once based on the information you provide them. That way, you can get all the information you’re looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible.
How Can My Nonprofit Use Address Appends?
The great thing about address appends is that they’re not limited to one type of nonprofit. Any nonprofit organization can benefit from address appends if they’re looking to improve their direct mail campaigns. Check out these example of how different organizations can use this service:
Some causes depend on having supporters located in certain areas. For example, political campaigns often target specific regions where support is strong to remind them to vote or where support is weak to see if they can capture their attention. Address appends can help you identify where supporters live so you can segment them based on location.
Associations depend on communication with their members to ensure that they keep their membership programs alive. Ensuring you’re sending mail to the correct addresses will make it easier for members to renew their memberships, stay up to date with your association, and continue to engage with your organization.
Support from alumni can really help take your initiatives off the ground. These are the people who comprise the legacy of your school and want to see it continue to prosper. By sending them magazines and newsletters, you can stay in touch with alumni and continue to foster their relationships with your school. In turn, they may be more willing to donate or volunteer when needed.
Nonprofits in General
Is your organization having trouble retaining volunteers? Could your organization benefit from recurring donations? For most nonprofits, the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes.
Address appends can help you to seamlessly communicate with your supporters and remind them of any upcoming opportunities available to them. Hopefully, your regular communication with them will make them feel more connected to your organization and therefore more willing to offer their help, whether through volunteering or donating.
Takeaway: No matter what type of organization you’re a part of, you can benefit from address appends. You’ll just have to find an address append service provider that is efficient and acts as an extension of your team.
How Do I Choose the Right Address Append Service Provider?
If you’ve decided address appends would be useful to your organization, the next step is to look for an address append service provider. Since you’re entrusting an external party with your supporters’ information, you’ll want to make sure you do your research and pick the right provider.
Here are some qualities to look for in an address append service provider:
- Uses accuracy checking. Address appends are useless if they don’t contain accurate addresses for your supporters. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure the address append service you choose conducts scans and checks to ensure the data they give you is accurate.
- Provides other kinds of appends. If you’re looking for address appends, chances are you could benefit from another type as well. Address append services that provide other kinds of appends will make sure that you can gather all the information you need at once and go through the process more efficiently.
- Sources data from reputable information sources. It’s helpful to know where your address append service provider is gathering their information. For example, NPOInfo primarily uses National Change of Address screenings from USPS.
- Gives address information in a standard format. Once you receive your address appends, you’ll want them to be ready for you to use right away. Look for an address append service provider that provides all of their data in a standard format that meets USPS’s requirements for bulk mailing.
- Has a quick turnaround. The quicker you receive your address appends, the quicker you can put your direct mail campaigns into action. Check your provider’s website to see if they give an estimate of how long their services take.
- Offers free quotes. It’s always helpful to have an idea of how much a service for your nonprofit will cost. Good address append service providers will allow you to submit information about your organization and indicate how much data you’re looking for so that they can offer you a free quote for their services.
While this is a long list of requirements, there are address append service providers out there that can satisfy all of your organization’s needs, like NPOInfo! After all, you’re entrusting them with your supporters’ data.
Conclusion & Additional Resources
By now, you’ve learned all about address appends and how they help nonprofits maximize their direct mail campaigns. Any information you can add to the supporter data you already have can help you to foster better, more meaningful relationships with them, and address appends are no different.
From segmented campaigns based on location to donation request letters ending up in the hands of your supporters, there are so many benefits that address appends can have for your organization.
If you’re interested in learning more about data appends, check out the resources we’ve listed below:
- The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide to Data Append Services. This guide covers all types of data appends so you can bulk up your data append knowledge.
- How Employer Appends Help Your Nonprofit Raise More. Looking to boost your fundraising efforts? Employer appends might be the data append your organization needs the most.
- Phone Appends: A Nonprofit’s Data Enrichment Guide. Expand your reach by calling or texting your supporters. Obtaining phone appends will open up more communication with donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders.