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Missing in action?

By Jared Matthews


Details, details.

Glance through your donor database and you’re likely to see quite a number of little holes: missing details — like age, email address, phone number.

Little bits of information — but surprisingly important.

The more you know about the donors to whom you’re talking, the more effective you can be at creating a message that connects them to your God-given mission.

How do you collect this missing information and mend the holes in your donor file?

Sure, you can ask for it on a reply device or donation page, but donors aren’t always willing to give out their demographic information.

Fortunately, “data append” companies specialize in obtaining missing information. They match donor and subscriber records from a variety of sources and fill in the blanks.

BBS & Associates is grateful to partner with appending companies like WealthEngine, Melissa, and ALC. They provide valuable donor information that our team then translates into more effective donor and fundraising communications for the ministries we serve.

These companies generate strong data for our clients in three particular ways:

    1. Age/Date of Birth Appends

Multiple studies reveal how various generations give. A Baby Boomer behaves differently than a GenXer, who makes giving decisions differently than a Millennial.

By knowing the age of your donors, you can segment them and tailor messages appropriately for each group and send each message in the channel where that type of donor is most likely to be reached.

Another advantage of an age append is that you obtain the donor’s birthday. Use this info to send out a birthday card every year — another positive touchpoint with your donor.

    1. Email Appends

Email appending fills in the donor’s email address if it’s missing. Email is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your donors — enabling you to communicate more frequently, sharing more stories of the impact of their giving. The more frequently you connect with a donor, the stronger your relationship with them will be.

    1. Phone Appends

We’re still seeing great results from phone campaigns targeting both active and lapsed donors. The more phone records you have, the larger your calling universe, and the greater your chances of a successful fundraising campaign. If you’re missing a donor’s phone number, you need a phone append.

What next?

These three appends are only a glimpse into your ministry’s potential for improved messaging — and results. More and better demographic information enables more and better communications with your donors.

Let’s talk about it. I’m I look forward to hearing from you!