Follow this comprehensive guide to learn how your nonprofit can use the Google Ad Grant to increase its visibility.

How Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits Can Increase Visibility

In 2003, Google launched the Google Ad Grants Program to help charitable organizations extend their reach. Since then, the program has revolutionized nonprofit marketing, offering select nonprofits free AdWords spending. More than 115,000 nonprofits across 51 countries use the Google Ad Grant to drive their mission.

Despite the wide number of Google Ad Grant recipients, there are still some nonprofits that remain hesitant about this game-changing opportunity. If your nonprofit wants to grow, the Google Ad Grant is essential. It is a powerful, cost-effective tool that will increase your nonprofit’s visibility.

To avoid any confusion or frustration, we recommend reading this comprehensive guide and working with a consultant who can streamline the grant application process. This article will cover the following topics to help your nonprofit make the most of its grant:

Let’s dive into the basics of the Google Ad Grant, so you can get started with this beneficial program.

Getting Attention can help your organization manage its Google Ad Grant.

The Google Ad Grant program awards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month to spend on paid search ads in Google.

What is a Google Ad Grant?

A Google Ad Grant provides free ad spend to eligible nonprofits.The Google Ad Grant program awards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month to spend on paid search ads in Google. That’s a generous marketing budget,  amounting to $329 per day. These ads allow your nonprofit to appear on Google when potential donors search for topics related to your mission. While regular Google Ad accounts have to pay per ad click, grant recipients can display their advertisements for free.

As a Google Ad Grant recipient, your paid search ads will appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). This means that your nonprofit will have a greater chance of reaching potential donors and increasing traffic to your website. Thus, the Google Ad Grant can expand your organization’s online presence at zero cost.​

Of course, there are certain rules that Google Grant recipients must follow. Once accepted into the grant program, your nonprofit will have to:

  • Choose highly specific keywords, abiding by the guidelines outlined by Google.
  • Run multiple ad campaigns.
  • Track the success of those campaigns using Google Analytics.

There is also a $2 cap on your maximum bidding amount meant to prevent inflation and earn your website more clicks.

As long as your organization meets and complies with the eligibility requirements, the $10,000 allotment renews monthly without a time constraint. Simply apply, maintain eligibility, and enjoy free ad spend indefinitely.

Before applying for the Google Ad Grant program, make certain that your organization is eligible.

Google Ad Grant Eligibility

Before applying for the Google Ad Grant program, make certain that your organization is eligible. Google has strict eligibility requirements to ensure that only valid nonprofits receive free advertising.

To start, your organization cannot be a hospital, school, or government entity. The remaining requirements should be simple if your nonprofit already has an established web presence and a valid nonprofit status. To enroll in the Google Ad Grant program, your nonprofit simply needs to:

Your nonprofit needs to follow these eligibility requirements to enroll in the Google Ad Grant program.

  • Hold a current and valid charity status in the country where your organization is based. In the United States, you should be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Be registered with Google for Nonprofits and TechSoup.
  • Have a functional website with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
  • Agree to the terms of service.

If your nonprofit meets these requirements, you are automatically eligible for the monthly budget of $10,000 a month. But the work doesn’t stop there. After you apply for and receive your grant, your nonprofit must maintain an active Google Ads Accounts that is in good standing with Google’s standards. Consider the following guidelines for Google Ad Grant compliance:

  • High-Quality Keywords: Keywords must have at least two or more words to increase relevancy. To disable single keywords, you can apply a keyword filter in your Google Ads Account. You should also avoid overly generic keywords that have a quality score of 1 or 2. Set up an automated rule to pause any low-quality keywords.
  • 5% Minimum Click-Through Rate: Maintain a minimum 5% click-through (CTR) rate to prove that your keywords and ads perform well. If you fail to meet the 5% CTR for two consecutive months, your account will be at risk for deactivation. If your account has been temporarily deactivated, you can request reactivation.
  • Geo-Targeting: Google requires that you target your ads to a specific geographic location. This ensures that your ads reach people in locations relevant to your organization.
  • Conversion Tracking: Conversion tracking is a free tool that tracks what a searcher does after clicking on your ad. Install Google Analytics to track conversions and maintain a healthy Google Ads Account.
  • Account Maintenance and Structure: Log into your account at least once a month and update it every 90 days. Each campaign must also contain at least two ad groups, which are a collection of keywords and ads. This proves to Google that you are an active Google Ads member.

Unlike traditional grants, which have a limited amount of funds, there is no limit on the number of nonprofits that can be approved for the Google Ad Grants program. That’s why your organization should apply if it meets the eligibility requirements. We’ll break down the benefits and application process in the next section.

There are many benefits to applying for the Google Ad Grant.

Why Apply for the Grant?

The Google Ad Grant is a low-risk, high-reward venture that can greatly improve your digital marketing strategy. It drives traffic and attention to your website and, when managed correctly, it can convert traffic into valuable action for your organization.

If your nonprofit wants to thrive in the digital space, the Google Ad Grant is your greatest asset. After you apply for the grant and receive your first month of free ad spending, you can begin reaping the benefits. The Google Ad Grant will allow your nonprofit to:

The Google Ad Grant can help your nonprofit in the following ways.

  • Reach a broader audience.
  • Promote your mission on Google.
  • Increase online conversions. 
  • Market multiple ad campaigns. 

Getting accepted into the Google Ad Grant program is straightforward. Once you sign up for a Google for Nonprofits account and register with TechSoup, the rest of the application process should be quick and easy. To apply for the Google Ad Grant, simply:

Follow these five steps when applying for the Google Ad Grant.

  1. Create a Google AdWords account.
  2. Submit a pre-qualification survey and complete ad grant training.
  3. Submit required materials for pre-qualification review.
  4. Once approved for pre-qualification, set up your first Google Ads campaign.
  5. Submit your AdWords account for final review.

To learn more about applying for the Google Ad Grant, check out this guide from Getting Attention. Now, let’s look at some real-world examples of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

Consider these real-world examples of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.

4 Organizations Using the Google Ad Grant

As previously mentioned, all nonprofits— other than healthcare, education, and government organizations— can apply for the Google Ad Grant. The program is highly profitable, resulting in free promotion for your online content. Nonprofits across the globe are using Google Ad Grants to bring exposure towards their cause.

If you’re still unsure about the Google Ad Grant, consider these success stories.

Days for Girls

Days for Girls strives for equal access to menstrual care and education for women across the world. To raise awareness for their cause, they created marketing goals that included raising funds and driving email subscriptions to cultivate donor relationships. The Google Ad Grants program greatly helped to accomplish these objectives.

In just two months, Google Ad Grants generated 24 online donations, resulting in more than $5,000. Google Ads also drove 10,000 visits to the website and more than 400 conversions. The Google Ad Grant brought awareness to the Days for Girls website and successfully generated new donors due to their targeted reach.

Global Giving

Global Giving is a charitable organization that supports other nonprofits by connecting them with donors and companies. Since 2002, they have provided tools, training, and support to community-led organizations around the world. Global Giving harnessed the power of Google Ad Grants to drive their mission forward.

Over the past two decades, the nonprofit has raised $615 million dollars and reached over 1.3 million donors. With just $10,000 worth of ad spend per month, Global Giving raised awareness, attracted donors, and recruited new volunteers.


Founded in 1953, Samaritans offers a free emotional support helpline to people considering taking their own lives. The service is available by phone, email, and face-to-face conversations in 201 branches located in the UK and Ireland. Samaritans’ primary marketing goal is to raise awareness for their helpline and ultimately reduce suicide rates.

Samaritans used the Google Ad Grant to track and increase conversions. As a result of their efforts, the grant drove over $48,000 or 10% of the nonprofit’s online donations and prompted 1,769 volunteer sign ups over the course of a year. Investing in Google Ads allowed Samaritans to extend their support to a much broader audience. is the leading platform for giving to public schools. Teachers across the United States use the website to request resources for their students in need, and donors give to the causes that inspire them. The organization’s marketing strategy uses Google Ad Grants to connect more donors and teachers to the platform. measured the strength of its messaging and calls to action through the Ad Grants program. After using the Google Ad Grant for a year, the website saw 305,000 site visits and $497,000 in donations. Since then, the organization has seen continued growth and improvement

Join these organizations and take full advantage of your grant by working with a Google Grants Agency.

Take full advantage of your Google Ad Grant by working with Getting Attention.

Working with a Google Grants Agency

Whether you manage a Google Ad Grant in-house or outsource it to a Google Ad Grant certified professional, like Getting Attention, your return on investment will be positive and your marketing strategy will be strong.

Getting Attention is a fully certified ad grant agency available to guide your organization through the Google Ad Grant process. Their team of experts offers free consultations and resources to help your organization plan a successful campaign strategy.

Their services include:

  • Google Grant Application: Their trusted experts will walk you through the application process to get you approved in no time.
  • Account Hygiene: They will help you clean outdated or unnecessary data from your Google Ad Account so that you can focus on what matters.
  • Google Grant Reactivation: Don’t fret if your account has lapsed or been suspended. They can help get it reactivated.
  • Keyword Research: Their research team will target the most relevant and useful keywords to your campaigns.
  • Google Grant Management: They will work with your nonprofit to track conversions and find opportunities for growth. The goal is to keep your marketing strategy fresh and productive.

In the meantime, explore these additional resources to continue your research on Google Ad Grants:

Work with Getting Attention to make the most of your Google Ad Grant.

Donor data management is important for successful nonprofit fundraising.

Donor Data Management: A Quick Guide for Nonprofits

90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, with no slowdown in sight. The world is both a data-filled and data-driven place— and data is only becoming more prevalent.

But, why does that matter to nonprofits? Data can help your mission-driven organization perform an action vital to its success: connecting with donors. Donors are the people who keep your nonprofit going by giving their time, money, and support to your cause. It’s imperative you maintain your relationship with them to hold their attention and support.

However, data will only work magic for your donor relationships if it is properly managed. Incorrect contact information, statistics, and reports will do more harm than good.

That’s where we come in! Your friends at NPOInfo will cover these topics related to stellar donor data management to help your nonprofit make the most of its data:

Ready to learn the ins and outs of donor data management? Let’s dive in.

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NPOInfo defines donor data management.

What is donor data management?

Donor data management is the process of maintaining your nonprofit’s data over time, ensuring it’s accurate and well-organized.

Donor data management is important for a number of reasons. Good donor data management will ensure your nonprofit has accurate and easily accessible information to get in touch with your donors. When properly segmented, your data will let you know which ones to reach out to for which specific reasons.

Donor data management will allow you to produce thorough and exact reports detailing your nonprofit’s operations. You’ll have all the stats you need to illustrate the impressive work of your organization!

This is an ongoing process with no clear beginning or end. Your nonprofit will constantly be acquiring new donor data, updating old donor data, and using current donor data to support its initiatives.

Here’s a list of the three main components of donor data management:

  • Collecting Data: This is the step where you gather new donor information. Collecting data could be en masse, like sending out a survey that garners many responses or investing in a nonprofit data append. It could also be ongoing, like collecting donor details one at a time as they donate.
  • Maintaining Data: Maintaining data refers to checking it and making corrections as necessary. Whether it be weekly, monthly, or a different time span that suits your nonprofit, you should make a habit of regularly updating your data. For more information on maintaining your nonprofit’s database, check out this full guide to data hygiene here.
  • Using Data: Here is the part where you reap the benefits of your hard work! You can use your donor data to fundraise, generate reports, thank your donors, reach out to volunteers, advertise for an upcoming event, and more.

Now that you know what donor data management is, we’ll tell you how to keep your donor data organized.

NPOInfo gives some organization tips for donor data management.

How do you keep donor information organized?

Even if you have hundreds, or thousands, of donors to keep track of, donor data management does not have to be a scary, complicated, or intimidating process. There are many simple tips and tricks to keeping your donor information organized.

Here are seven of our most dependable strategies:

NPOInfo lists its tips for managing donor data.

  • Keep your data in one place. When you need to do anything data-related, it’ll be much easier to have all your information in the same spot. Keep all your data in the same constituent relationship management (CRM) system to save yourself from constantly digging around for the data you need. Make sure your various nonprofit technologies integrate with your CRM, so data can flow seamlessly into your main donor database.
  • Use a standardized format. There are many ways to say the same thing— for instance, St. versus St versus Street. Make sure you’re staying consistent across entries so that it’s easier to find and organize information later on.
  • Develop data entry guidelines. Your nonprofit should have an outlined data entry process. Who will enter the data, one specific person or many people? Also, will you always search the database before entering to avoid duplicate entries? To see the best results and greatest efficiency, decide your rules in advance.
  • Plan for exceptions. When there’s a rule, there’s always an exception. Your nonprofit will inevitably run into a piece of information that poses a previously unconsidered problem. Go ahead and think about how you want to deal with those details in advance.
  • Review your data. Like with data maintenance, it’s important to have a routine when it comes to data review. You could go over it daily, weekly, monthly, every other month, etc., all depending on your nonprofit’s priorities. Just be sure to review it and make necessary changes— it’ll be so nice to have updated data ready when you need it as opposed to putting it off for later.
  • Train your staff. Even if not everyone will be involved with data entry, all nonprofit employees should at least be familiar with your donor data management processes. Chances are someone might need help with data in the future, and they will have the help they need if the whole organization is in the loop.
  • Segment your data. Once you have all your data organized in the same place, you should break it down into helpful categories. There are many possibilities for segmentation: location, age, frequency of giving, and more.

You’re now a data organization pro, but what kind of data should you even be organizing? Read on for our recommendations for what types of donor data to collect.

NPOInfo lists what data you should collect for donor data management purposes.

What donor data should you collect?

Donor data is an invaluable resource for your nonprofit. Within the donor data realm, there are many specific pieces of info you can gather that will be useful to your organization. There are also pieces that wouldn’t be useful at all.

Follow our guide below to get the best donor data for your nonprofit.

Demographics are a key component to donor data management.


Demographics categorize members of a population by defining characteristics. As a nonprofit, it’s important to know who your donors are in order to figure out the best ways to reach them. Here are five types of relevant demographic data:

  • Age: Different age groups have different donation habits. For example, all ages prefer to give online via credit or debit cards, but each generation’s second preference varies greatly. Millennials prefer cash, Gen X leans toward bank/wire transfer, and baby boomers will secondarily opt for direct mail. Collect data on your donors’ ages to strategically reach them based on their birth year.
  • Gender: Donor habits vary by gender, too, making it a worthy demographic to track. Female donors are more inspired by social media marketing, whereas males respond more to emails.
  • Location: If you’re a local nonprofit, it’s safe to assume most of your donors will be from your operating area. However, for national and global nonprofits, it’s helpful to know where the majority of your donors live to design campaigns in their locations that are tailored to their interests.
  • Income: A person’s income will impact their giving capabilities. Knowing a ballpark estimate of your donors’ annual incomes will allow you to target the right donors for specific giving initiatives. To illustrate, you wouldn’t want to ask someone with limited disposable income for thousands of dollars. Instead, you’d rather reach out asking for a smaller amount they’d be equipped to send.
  • Employment: Take income a step further and learn where your donors work. With this demographic information, you can figure out which donors work at businesses that offer robust corporate matching programs. Almost $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually, so it’s not an opportunity you want to overlook.

Next, let’s take a look at the donor contact information you should collect.

Contact information is a valuable piece of donor data management.

Contact Information

In order to reach your donors, your nonprofit needs accurate and accessible contact information. Here’s a list of four reliable points of contact to gather on your donors:

So far we’ve looked at more general categories of data. Now, we’ll dive into data that’s specific to donations and engagement with your nonprofit.

Giving habits is a valuable component of donor data management.

Giving Habits

No two donors give exactly the same. For instance, some are more sporadic in their donations, and others are consistent and use monthly recurring gift programs. Collect these useful pieces of donor data related to giving habits:

  • Gift amount: Donations can range from single digits to multiple figures, and all are worthwhile. Collect this data to be sure you’re targeting each donor correctly according to their amount preferences.
  • Frequency of giving: For regular donors, their donations could come weekly, monthly, annually, or at another interval. If you know a donor’s general schedule for giving, you can easily send a reminder around the time you’re expecting their contribution.
  • Method of giving: Cash, credit, debit, PayPal, check— the options for donation format are seemingly endless. Save yourself the time of reaching out to someone via text who prefers to mail a check by keeping track of your donors’ methods of giving.
  • Lifetime value: This measurement refers to someone’s all-time total contribution to your nonprofit organization. It is helpful to know who your biggest supporters are to keep reaching out to them, as well as to thank them when they reach certain milestones.
  • Number of years as a donor: How long a person has been donating to your nonprofit is another great way to assess who your biggest advocates are. You could also thank people according to their year milestones.
  • Upgrades and downgrades: Numerically speaking, an upgrade would be someone giving more money than usual. On the other hand, a downgrade would be someone giving less than usual for them. These terms are purely numbers— all donations are valuable regardless of size! However, this info is worth keeping track of for follow-up purposes. For instance, did they donate less because their income went down, or are they feeling less drawn to your organization? It’s a question worth asking.

Tracking your donors’ giving habits will allow you to find patterns in giving and strategize your fundraising efforts based on those patterns. You could figure out who to reach out to more or less often for the greatest efficiency and even what time of year is best to reach out to certain donors.

Use this data to create a donor pyramid and use it to organize your donors. Donor pyramids are a way of conceptualizing your donors’ overall value and where they are in their giving journey with prospective donors at the bottom and major donors at the top of the pyramid. With accurate, well-managed data, a donor pyramid can be effective for visualizing your donor base and determining where to focus your efforts when reaching out to your supporters.

Interactions are a valuable component of donor data management.


Where giving habits are limited to a person’s donation behavior, interactions describe their general engagement with your mission-driven organization. Through interactions, you can learn who your most committed supporters are in ways that go beyond money.

Here are six examples of donor interaction metrics your nonprofit could track:

  • Event attendance: Event attendance is a great way to assess the success of an event. Also, by knowing the specific people who attend your events, you can figure out which audience you are attracting: young or old, men or women, families or individuals, etc.
  • Email open rates: We’re all guilty of letting our email inboxes pile up with unopened promotional materials, and your donors are no exception. With data on email open rates, figure out what types of content your donors are responding most to and what types of content they’re not interested in at all.
  • Website visits: 44% of nonprofit website visitors in 2019 arrived at the website organically. However, your nonprofit’s website visit data may look way different than the overall data. Keep track of website visits to figure out how donors arrive at your website and what makes them stick around.
  • Direct mail response rate: Direct mail can be expensive— plus, digital methods of communication are increasingly popular. To make the best use of your time, look at data around which donors respond to your direct mail. Focus your efforts there, and stop sending mail to unresponsive addresses.
  • Social media engagement: From likes to comments to shares and more, social media offers a wide variety of data for your nonprofit to gather. Like emails, you can evaluate what types of content perform best and calibrate your social media strategy from there.
  • Volunteer activity: Donations don’t only exist in the form of money— many of your donors are willing to give their time to your cause. Keep track of the individuals who volunteer both once and on a regular basis, thank them for their time, and do what you can to retain their participation.

Data on interactions, like giving habits, will also allow your nonprofit to spot patterns and adjust its marketing strategy accordingly. Use this to your advantage and raise more money with greater efficiency.

For an even more in-depth look into what data your nonprofit should be collecting, check out this guide on nonprofit data collection. But for now, you’re well on your way to creating a robust database full of useful information— next, we’ll give you a guide on the best practices for keeping up your donor database.

NPOInfo provides five of the best practices for donor data management.

Donor Database Best Practices

After reading about donor data management and what data to collect, don’t neglect the amazing donor database you’ve put together! Here are five of our donor database best practices.

NPOInfo illustrates the best practices of donor data management.

Organize Data

Donor data will not be useful to your nonprofit if it isn’t properly sorted and managed. You can keep your database organized by keeping it all in one place, using a standardized format with clear entry guidelines, regularly reviewing it, and training your staff on data management.

For a more thorough refresh on how to organize your data, refer back to our previous section here where we explain how to do so.

Collect the Right Data

Your nonprofit should focus on collecting data in these categories: demographics, contact information, giving habits, and interactions.

Also, make sure you adjust your giving forms so that they only ask for information you need. To guarantee you get the data you need and donors don’t leave items blank, make certain fields like contact information required.

Purge Your Data

If you’re like most nonprofits, 88% of your donations come from 12% of your donors. Purge your database by removing inactive donors from your contact lists— it’ll save your organization time, money, and effort. Plus, you’ll see a greater return on investment for your campaigns.

Use a Data Append Service

Data appending is the process of supplementing existing data with more information from external sources. This is valuable both to fill in gaps in your database and to check the accuracy of your existing data by comparing it against external resources.

NPOInfo is a data appending service that works specifically with nonprofits. We provide accurate, quick, and thorough data enrichment for your nonprofit.

NPOInfo offers five different types of data append services:

  • Employer appends: This type of append will verify where your donors work. With this information, get ready to double your donation amounts through corporate matching gift programs.
  • Email appends: Our email append services will verify the emails in your donor database, guaranteeing more accuracy for your email fundraising tactics.
  • Phone number appends: Just like email appends, this service will double-check your donors’ phone numbers and be sure you’re using the correct ones.
  • Date of birth appends: Date of birth appends will confirm your donors’ birthdays, and subsequently, their ages. You could run a fun Happy Birthday campaign or simply segment your donor database by age group.
  • Address appends: Did you know that more than 40 million Americans move each year? That means about 10% of addresses become outdated annually. Use our address append services to keep your donor database as up-to-date as possible.

Data append services are a great way to make sure your donor database is as correct and complete as possible. For more information on data appending and data append services, check out our complete guide here.

Incorporate a CRM System

Constituent relationship management (CRM) systems stores large amounts of constituent data for businesses and organizations.

If your nonprofit’s CRM isn’t supporting your data management efforts, it may be time to invest in a new solution. Here are four characteristics to look for when choosing the right CRM for your nonprofit:

  • How many donors it can track: Depending on the size of your nonprofit, you’ll need a CRM system that can accommodate how many donors you need to gather and store data about.
  • How many users the software allows: You’ll want a few employees involved in the process of collecting, maintaining, and viewing your data. Make sure the CRM system you select permits your ideal number of authorized users.
  • What features are available: Different CRM systems will offer different services for you to use. Investigate what’s out there and decide which features will be most useful to your organization.
  • If it has integration capabilities: Many CRMs can connect to other softwares, and with that you can send your data back and forth easily. For instance, you could send the most accurate data from your online donation software straight to your CRM instead of manually transferring the information. That will save you time, money, and stress.
  • How much it costs: You’ll want to be sure the CRM system you pick fits your nonprofit’s budget.

Now you have all the best donor database practices under your belt! Go out and work some donor data magic for your nonprofit.

NPOInfo concludes its guide to donor data management.

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered what donor data management is, how to keep donor information organized, what donor data you should be collecting, and the best practices for maintaining a donor database. Let’s take a step back and remember the why behind donor data management.

Data analytics is invaluable for nonprofits. With all the effort you put into acquiring data and managing it in the form of a database, don’t forget to use it to your benefit by deriving data-driven insights.

An insight is an intuitive understanding of a pattern found in facts. All of your nonprofit’s decisions should trace back to insights found in your data for best results. After all, data is a concrete illustration of what works. It’s an important tool to generate awareness and enthusiasm for your nonprofit among its donor base.

Want to start using data better? NPOInfo can help! Contact our team today to get a quote.

In the meantime, for more helpful nonprofit marketing information and resources, check out these three articles:

NPOInfo is a data append service that helps nonprofits with donor data management.

Learn everything you need to know about employer appends for your nonprofit.

Your Ultimate Guide to Employer Appends for Nonprofits

Increasing fundraising revenue is a goal for all nonprofits. What if we told you this was possible with data you already have? Appending employer data is one way to maximize your fundraising efforts and prevent potential losses.

Employer appends add data about your donors’ employers to your database. This information provides a variety of valuable insights, including but not limited to whether their employer offers a matching gift program. Information like this can help you capitalize on these fundraising opportunities by educating your donors.

This guide will walk you through the employer appends basics and offer some helpful tips on receiving the best results. We’ll cover the following points:

Let’s get started.

Contact NPOInfo if you are interested in using employer appends for your nonprofit.

These are the basics for employer appends for nonprofits.

What are employer appends for nonprofits?

Employer appends add information about your donors’ employers to your donor database. Your nonprofit can then use this information to maximize matching gift revenue. This information about employers can help you, and your donors, reap the benefits of their matching gift programs. These matching gifts refer to companies matching your donor’s gift to nonprofits, typically on a 1:1 ratio.

Appending employer data has several benefits. Beyond discovering matching gift opportunities, employment information helps nonprofits learn more about potential corporate social responsibility opportunities. This information can get conversations about corporate sponsorships started and help identify volunteer opportunities. That said, the most important is the potential to increase your fundraising revenue without heavily investing your own resources.

Why append employer data to donor records?

So, why should you append employer data? For starters, you can reduce potential losses in matching gift revenue. Your donors may be unaware that their employers offer these programs and make donations without requesting a matching gift. Here, you lose what is essentially free money from your donors’ employers.

Employer appends close the gap between matching gift revenue and eligible donors. While many donors are eligible for matching gifts, about 78% of them don’t know about their employers’ matching gift programs. If your nonprofit is aware of their eligibility, you can help your donors make a bigger contribution without having to reach back into their own wallets.

78% of donors are not aware of their employers' matching gift programs.

What types of nonprofits can benefit from an employer append?

A wide variety of nonprofits reap the benefits of these appends by minimizing matching gift losses. Rather than wondering if you will benefit from an append— you likely will— the question is whether your organization is well positioned for one. The only thing you need to get started is clean donor data.

Clean donor data entails regularly practicing good data hygiene. Data hygiene can involve tasks such as keeping your records current, removing duplicates from your data, and checking for inaccuracies.

While we’ll cover the basics of data hygiene later in this guide, focus on these 3 questions to understand whether your organization is prepared for an employer append:

  • Do you have an up-to-date email address? Your data should have a recent email address for donors.
  • Do you have an up-to-date mailing address? In addition to an updated email address, it is important to have donors’ most recent mailing address as well.
  • For higher education institutions, can you provide graduation years? This piece of data is useful if your nonprofit is a higher education institution like a university. Graduation year can provide insights like how likely someone is to donate based on how long ago they attended.

If you can answer these questions with your current donor data, you’re probably in a good place to start thinking about employer appends.

These are the types of information your nonprofit gains from employer appends.

What types of information can you access through an employer append?

An employer append will grant you access to a few different pieces of information. After appending employer data, you will know your donors’ employer name, their job title, and matching gift information. Here is what this data means for your nonprofit.

Employer Name

Learning who your donors’ employers are is a key part of maximizing fundraising. Once you know the name of a donor’s employer, you can find out about the corporate social responsibility programs their employer may offer that could benefit your nonprofit.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to efforts a company makes to better society. Because CSR is meant to give back to the community in some way, many companies turn to nonprofits to help them do so. For example, while individual donations make up about 75% of the contributions to a nonprofit, CSR can boost these efforts by companies matching what their employees donate.

Job Title

A donor’s job title can give you insights into how much decision-making power they have at work. It can also tell you something about their financial capacity to give.

Donors working in high positions could be useful leaders within their organizations. These donors could help the organization set up CSR initiatives that benefit your nonprofit. Further, donors who are in advanced positions at their workplace may be more financially capable of donating larger gifts to your organization.

Matching Gift Information

Matching gift information is the key piece of information your nonprofit earns from employer data appends. This information tells you whether your donors’ employer has a matching gift program and if so, how that program works.

If you’re not an expert on matching gift programs, don’t worry. Here is a basic breakdown of the gift match process:

  1. Donor makes initial gift. The first step in acquiring a matching gift donation is accepting a donation from a donor whose employer offers a matching gift program.
  2. Donor requests the matching gift. Once your donor makes a donation, they must request a matching gift from their employer. This is where many nonprofits lose potential fundraising. Many donors are unaware that their employers offer these programs and do not request a matching gift.
  3. Your nonprofit receives a matching gift. If all goes to plan, you will receive a separate donation from your donor’s employer known as a matching gift. These companies usually match gifts at a ratio of 1:1, but some companies match at higher rates of 2:1, 3:1, or 4:1.

The matching gift process is straightforward for your donors, as long as they know about it. That’s the value of an employer append that can provide matching gift information, as you can share educational information with donors who work for match-eligible companies. Your nonprofit can gain at least two donations for the “price” of one— don’t neglect these programs when you could be bringing in free money for your organization!

This is the employer append process.

How do employer appends for nonprofits work?

You might be thinking about what the process for employer appends looks like. There are four steps involved— gathering donor data, maintaining data hygiene, inputting your donor data, and receiving output data. Let’s break down each step.

employer appends process in four steps

Step 1: Gather donor data.

One of the only “requirements” for your nonprofit to begin the data append process is to have initial donor records that you’d like to enhance.

Gathering donor data is a crucial step in ensuring you have accurate employer data. Your nonprofit may not have an extensive donor database to work with, but there are many ways to gather more data about donors. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Use donation forms to gather employee data. Update any existing donation forms to ask donors for employee data. This is a simple and easy way to gather data any time someone makes a donation.
  • Evaluate data to identify missing employee data. Perform an audit of your data to pinpoint which donor records are missing employee data. Once you have a smaller list to work with, it is easier to tailor how you gather data.
  • Select a data append service. Investing in a data append service like NPOInfo takes the pressure off of you to append data. NPOInfo can help you append employer information, donor addresses, and more.

Securing donor data doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. Our tips can help get you started with filling in the blanks in donor data.

Step 2: Maintain a high standard of donor data hygiene.

Data hygiene is a process you should practice regularly to keep clean, efficient data. Practicing good data hygiene involves regularly sorting through data to remove things that are irrelevant or inaccurate.

Because employer appends involve adding more data to your database, consider revitalizing your data hygiene practices prior to investing in an append. Analyzing your nonprofit’s data is easier, faster, and more efficient when the data being analyzed is already clean and organized. Clean data will also yield better, more accurate results if you decide to append employer data.

Conduct a sweep of your database and do the following:

  • Remove useless records. Remove data that no longer serves your nonprofit. This can include data on deceased donors, minors, or people who are incarcerated.
  • Remove any duplicates. Duplicate entries can happen, but they can make data analysis slower. Remove any duplicate entries you find.
  • Standardize entries. Make sure that data entries follow a standard formatting pattern. Formatting for things like titles and contact information should be the same across the entire dataset.

From here, you can confidently share data with your data append partner, knowing that you’re providing them with useful information to use in the append process.

Step 3: Input your data.

The next step in the employer append process involves inputting your donor data. Using a source like NPOInfo, supply the service with as much information about your donors as you can. We ask for the following:

  • Unique donor ID number
  • Name
  • Mailing address (for home and/or business)
  • Region (state, city, and country)
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • College or university attended
  • Graduation year, major, and degree
  • Last gift amount
  • Last donation date
  • Date the entry was last updated

We know this is a lot of information to ask for all at once. Most organizations don’t have all of this data, so don’t worry if you have some gaps. Strive to fill in as much as possible. Remember, the more data you provide, the more accurate the results will be.

Step 4: Receive your output data.

The final step in this process is receiving the employer data. This data is the result of all the hard work you put into maintaining a high standard of data hygiene! After inputting your data, we supply you with:

  • Found flag: This marker indicates if the donor was found. It also tells you if their employer was identified.
  • Employer name: This tells you the name of your donors’ employers.
  • Matching gift program: This metric indicates whether the employer offers a matching gift program.
  • Job title: If possible, NPOInfo supplies the donor’s job title.
  • Accuracy rating: This metric is a percentage based on how confident NPOInfo is that the donor and their employer were correctly identified.

Keep in mind that these outputs and their accuracy is based on information your nonprofit provides. These pieces of data are specific to NPOInfo, and other services may differ slightly.

These are 4 top tips for making the most of employer appends for nonprofits.

Tips for Appending Employer Data for Nonprofits

While appending employer data is a great way to reduce lost potential in matching gift programs, simply adding new records to your database isn’t enough to truly enhance your nonprofit’s efforts.

Keep these additional tips in mind to make the most of your employer appends.

Make sure donor records are current.

Using up-to-date records is a crucial part of maintaining clean donor data. It is easy to neglect data and forget that it is about real people— people whose addresses can change!

Home addresses are relatively easy to verify. Using the USPS National Change of Address database, you can check your donor data against the addresses listed there. If you notice a donor changed their address, update that information in your database. Don’t let this get out of hand— remember to check in with your data periodically and correct these issues in small batches.

The USPS database is a great way to check donor addresses, but it works best if you are using it for a small amount of data. NPOInfo offers to take care of this for you so you don’t have to spend time manually cross referencing addresses. If you’re finding that you don’t have an extensive database when it comes to addresses, consider investing in NPOInfo’s address appends service.

Up-to-date donor records matter to your nonprofit when it comes to employer appends and contacting your supporters. Old donor addresses don’t ensure as much accuracy as a current one when it comes to employer appends. As for staying in touch with donors, you don’t want to waste ink on a mailer that is sent to their previous address.

Remove any duplicates.

Duplicate entries in data are copies of the same data. For example, you may have the same “Jane Doe” entered into your data twice. While duplications can happen easily during data input, it is important to remove them during data clean ups.

If done regularly, deduplication will save time and effort when it comes time to input data for employer appends. It can also benefit your nonprofit by making running searches and reports on donor data more efficient.

Check in for duplications regularly so they don’t pile up, and remove any that you find.

Look out for inaccuracies.

Inaccurate data can wreak havoc on employer append results. Submitting donor data with inaccurate information will yield less useful information. To make sure employer append services correctly identify your donors, correct information that is:

  • Out of date: As we mentioned before, keeping your records up-to-date is a key part of good data hygiene. It is also a factor in your data’s accuracy, as old information is not necessarily correct information.
  • Input incorrectly: Look out for things like typos and misspellings. These things can happen due to human error during data input, but correct any that you find while inspecting your data.
  • Missing or incomplete: Try to look for incomplete or blank fields of data. You may or may not be able to fill in missing information, but it is helpful to at least flag these issues.

The best way to solve these issues is to stay on top of data hygiene. You should regularly check for old information, typos and misspellings, and incomplete fields. Familiarize yourself with what your data is supposed to look like so any inconsistencies will stick out.

Use employer data to increase fundraising revenue.

After receiving information about your donors’ employers, your next mission is to increase matching gift revenue.

Increasing the number of matching gifts you receive can be as easy as informing donors that the opportunity is available to them. Aim to increase general awareness of these matching gift programs among your donors using existing touch points like newsletters or email lists.

From there, reach out to individual donors who have been identified as match-eligible. Try to educate these donors about what the process of requesting a matching gift looks like from their end to increase the likelihood that they will complete the process. Check out this guide on how to use matching gift forms to understand how it works.

The information you gain from employer appends doesn’t stop at just knowing who your donors’ employers are. Take note of your donors job titles as a way to infer what their donating capabilities may be and consider ways to steward highly successful supporters into making larger gifts in the future.

Work with an agency like NPOInfo for to make the employer appends process simple.

Wrapping Up: Work with NPOInfo to append employer data.

Now that you’ve learned the ins and outs of employer appends, it’s time to think about next steps. If you decide to use your donor database to append employer data, the service you choose can be a big decision.

NPOInfo makes the process as easy as possible. All you need to do is input as much requested data about your donors as possible, and leave the rest to us! From there, NPOInfo will supply you with information to guide you on your path to maximizing matching gift revenue.

To learn more, contact our team today. In the meantime, while we walked you through the basics of employer appends, there is still a lot you can learn about matching gift programs. Check out some of the resources below to find out more:

Contact NPOInfo if your nonprofit needs help improving fundraising strategy.

Explore this comprehensive guide to nonprofit data hygiene.

The Fundraiser’s Guide to Improving Nonprofit Data Hygiene

Data is essential to the livelihood of any organization. However, it fails to hold any value if you’re unable to identify your data when you need it. Without taking the necessary steps to keep your data up-to-date, clean, clear, and concise, it is virtually useless.

So, you may be wondering, what is the key to making the most of your data? The answer is simple: proper data hygiene.

At NPOInfo, we help nonprofits elevate their internal data through database appends. By doing so, we’ve seen firsthand the importance of clean data when it comes to improving a nonprofit’s donor stewardship and fundraising efforts. Because of that, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to nonprofit data hygiene. We’ll cover the following points:

If you’re looking to optimize your fundraising efforts through using clean data, read along as we uncover all you need to know!

This image will take users to a free quote from NPOInfo.
This section covers an overview of nonprofit data hygiene.

What is database hygiene? An Overview

Database hygiene is the ongoing procedures and processes involved with keeping a nonprofit’s main database, its constituent relationship management (CRM) system, “clean” or with few errors. These processes involve a variety of actions, such as verifying existing data, removing duplicate and non-useful records, and appending new data to fill gaps in any incomplete records.

This is crucial, as “dirty” data can lead to many fatal pitfalls, including ineffective lead tracking, marketing missteps, and the inability to personalize outreach materials to donors and subscribers.

Most commonly, we see database hygiene discussed in relation to the following information:

  • Postal addresses: On average, 15% of individuals move each year, but 35% of those people fail to update their address information. Failing to keep track of postal addresses will put your information in the wrong hands— something you definitely don’t want to happen!
  • Email addresses: Email marketing has the highest return on investment of any channel, with $40 gained for every $1 spent. Therefore, you want to be certain your nonprofit is receiving email addresses from contacts and keeping this data clean. Approximately 54% of records in a nonprofit’s database are missing email addresses.
  • Phone numbers: Research indicates that 42% of records are missing phone information; an issue that needs rapid resolving.
  • Deceased: As a means of preserving resources and reducing perceived insensitivity, it is important to conduct routine deceased suppression as part of your data hygiene routine.
  • Duplicates: For organizations with multiple databases, it is extremely common to find duplicate information.

This image covers a checklist of nonprofit data hygiene best practices
These aspects provide a simple overview of the key components nonprofit organizations must pay attention to when evaluating the hygiene of their data. However, it is just as important to understand the value that this data presents to nonprofits in the first place.
This section covers how nonprofits use data

How do nonprofits use data?

As the world transitions into a more digital way of life, the volume of available data continues to grow. Nonprofits are striving to be more data-driven in response.

Data-driven nonprofits experience a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Boosts in fundraising efforts.
  • Increase in donor stewardship and engagement.
  • Stronger marketing efforts.
  • Broader outreach.
  • Better supporter retention.

While most nonprofits heavily rely on data when planning their fundraising, outreach, and stewardship strategies, this is significantly more difficult if the organization’s data is “unclean” or otherwise inaccurate.
This section covers the importance of clean data to nonprofits.

Why does clean data matter for nonprofits?

Nonprofit data hygiene is a key factor in achieving data maturity. Research shows that every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated globally. Yet, most of this data remains underutilized by nonprofits due to a lack of data organization. In essence, that valuable information goes straight by the way-side.
This image showcases a significant nonprofit data statistic.

For your nonprofit, this could mean:

  • Missing out on donations: overlooking a major donor opportunity and therefore not beginning major gift processes.
  • Overspending on outreach: dirty data could lead to spending a significant amount of your marketing budget sending costly direct mail solicitations to addresses where donors no longer reside.
  • Lapsed donors: ineffective follow-up and outreach with supporters leading to a negative experience.

Be sure to utilize all opportunities by maintaining clean data.

This section covers nonprofit data hygiene common challenges

5 Common Nonprofit Data Hygiene Challenges

While working to clean up your data, you may encounter several challenges that make it difficult for you to organize the information at hand. Here are common data hygiene challenges that your nonprofit may encounter, as well as steps to resolve them.
This graphic visualizes nonprofit data hygiene common challenges.
This section covers nonprofit ambiguous data.

Ambiguous Data

Ambiguous data is information that is too broad to decipher its true meaning. More simply, it is when the same code is used for two different types of data. For example, if you use the label “board” to indicate someone’s ranking, you may forget later down the road if that individual is a current or former board member. This difference in title is important to take into consideration before approaching the individual for future campaigns. You probably don’t want to seek the aid of a former board member, though you would with a current board member!

To fix this issue, identify how each type of data should be coded moving forward. In the example above, you can establish clarity through coding current members as “current board” and former members as “former board.” Specificity is key. When cleaning data, review all records with ambiguous coding and update them as you go.
This section covers nonprofit duplicate data.

Duplicate Data

Duplicate data is identical data entered throughout your database. This most commonly happens in the form of having two records for one supporter— for example, if an individual made two gifts, each on a different date and each from different email addresses. Your CRM could record this as though there are two separate supporters, rather than one individual with two email addresses. It’s important to rid your system of duplicate data to avoid redundancy in your approach (such as that one donor receiving double the communications).

Implement a deduplication process at least once per quarter to stay on top of the game. Additionally, your database should have a merge tool that you can use to review duplicate records side by side and decide which records to merge into one and which to keep separate.
This section covers nonprofit inconsistent data.

Inconsistent Data

Inconsistent data is when your entries differ across multiple databases. For example, if one of your systems says that two individuals are married while the other says they are divorced, sending them joint communication efforts may be a mistake. You can avoid issues like this through keeping your data consistent.

If you suspect that some of your data is incorrect, identify a threshold for data you will review. For instance, when considering donors, it may be wise to establish a review for those who have gifted a certain amount or higher. Hypothetically, if someone donated $3 million to your organization, your system should flag this entry and notify staff to double check that this amount is correct before proceeding. Implementations such as this will help prevent inconsistent data down the road.
This section covers nonprofit misplaced data.

Misplaced Data

Sometimes data is simply misplaced in the system. With such high variability in human error, this is very common in free-text fields. For example, you could have John Smith’s email address entered under Mary Jones. Making sure everything is in the right place will make your marketing and fundraising efforts run as smoothly as possible.

As with all other challenges, a thorough review of data entries will help to identify if data has been entered in the wrong location. Be sure to review misplaced data as needed, move the data into its correct location, and delete the data from its original, incorrect location.
This section covers nonprofit missing data.

Missing Data

Missing data is a cause for concern, as it is impossible for your organization to use such valuable information if it isn’t there in the first place. A common example of this is missing contact information, such as email address or phone number, resulting from “optional” form entry fields. If you’ve ever made an online donation to a nonprofit and left one of the two “contact information” fields blank, you’re a source of missing data for that organization!

If you have other data sources that contain what you need—such as old databases or third-party systems—you may seek these for filling in the blanks of missing information. Not to mention, the data append services provided by NPOInfo make the processes of finding missing data quite simple. From email addresses to phone numbers, our data append services can locate exactly what you need.

This section teaches how to clean nonprofit donor data.

How do you clean donor data? 5 Steps

Now that you know what clean data is, the importance of maintaining it, and the challenges you may encounter along the way, it is time to dive into the nitty-gritty of exactly how to clean your data. Here are the five data hygiene steps we will discuss:

  1. Conduct an audit of your nonprofit database.
  2. Remove unnecessary or harmful information.
  3. Take a closer look at the data you have left.
  4. Standardize processes for ongoing maintenance.
  5. Bring an expert on board to help.

Let’s begin!
This graphic walks through the steps of nonprofit data hygiene
This section covers how to conduct a database audit.

Step 1: Conduct a database audit.

Conducting a database audit is the first step in cleaning your donor data. An audit allows you to assess the current state of your data and discover the areas most in need of improvement.

Use the following steps to conduct your database audit:

Step 1: Identify problems you’re facing regarding data collection. What are the main issues your organization is facing that impede on proper data collection? What are you looking to get out of the audit process?

Step 2: Pinpoint unhelpful information. Identify which pieces of your information are inaccurate, outdated, or utterly incorrect. Make note of these points and you will help yourself in the long run. Keeping this information within your database will prove more harmful than helpful.

Step 3: Identify inconsistencies in your data. If you are a long-standing organization, your team has probably gone through several different data input procedures. As a result, you have probably cycled through many different ways of uploading names, addresses, dates, and other types of information. If you are a newer nonprofit, the threat of human error can also lead to variability amongst data input. Use your audit to note any inconsistencies that have occurred.

Step 4: Share your findings with your team. Once the audit is complete, be sure to share the information discovered with all parties involved. Ensure stakeholders—such as board members and executive leadership—are aware of the findings and on board with moving to the next steps of the data hygiene process

By conducting a database audit, you can produce an official review of your database to understand what areas contain the largest amount of inaccuracies, what information is missing, and where gaps in your data lie. This will put you in the best position for correcting your data moving forward.
This section covers nonprofit removing unnecessary information from data.

Step 2: Remove unnecessary or harmful information.

Once you have conducted your audit, it’s time to get rid of any extraneous content. These pieces of irrelevant information will ultimately be a waste of time and money, as you’ll end up sending marketing materials and messages to those who don’t want to or are not able to engage with your information. Some examples of unusable data points to remove include:

  • People on Do Not Call lists: Individuals who wish to opt-out of telemarketing calls register with the National Do Not Call Registry. Nonprofits are traditionally exempt from these regulations, but if your organization partners with a commercial telemarketing company you must comply with these guidelines.
  • Do Not Mail lists: People who wish to not receive mail and emails from businesses can register with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) website, DMAchoice. Nonprofits are not required to use this list either.
  • Minors: Remove those under the age of 18 from your database. This is especially crucial as if you conduct marketing to children, you can be fined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Incarcerated individuals: Those who are currently within the prison system cannot respond to marketing materials. Remove individuals within federal and state prisons, county correctional facilities, and jails as a means of preserving your resources.
  • Deceased persons: By making sure not to contact the deceased, you can prevent sending unwanted marketing materials to their family members. Failing to do so often comes off as insensitive.

Once this information has been eliminated, you’re left with a database that contains information only about those who are interested in hearing from you and are able to respond to your messages. Remember, more data in your database isn’t necessarily better. If you need help determining what data to keep or not to keep, nonprofit data hygiene providers can assist you with removing these types of records or suppressing them from your direct marketing efforts.
This section covers properly inspector data.

Step 3: Take a closer look at the data you have left.

After refining your database and removing unwanted information, assess your remaining data closely. In particular, it is important to assess and correct the database errors you identified during the primary audit stage. You can ensure your records are clean by:

  • Eliminating duplicate entries: Verify the correct entry and merge or eliminate any copies that might have emerged over the years.
  • Standardizing mailing addresses: When inputting mailing address information, establish a standardized method for interchangeable abbreviations, such as “Lane” or “Ln.” Also, be sure to establish guidelines when it comes to area codes: 5-digit ZIP code versus ZIP+4 code.
  • Verifying email addresses: Ensure all remaining addresses are real and active. Following this principle will increase your email engagement rate and allows you to save time and resources by only sending messages to correct, active email addresses.
  • Ensuring numbers and abbreviations are standardized: This includes titles, ages, and any code words your team uses to categorize donors or prospects.

Taking the time to refine data will help correct small inconsistencies that can add up to much larger issues.
This section discusses standardizing data entry processes.

Step 4: Standardize processes for ongoing maintenance

It is best to adopt continuous data hygiene practices, rather than conduct an occasional major—and very time-consuming—cleanse. Ensure future success by creating an ongoing process for standardized data entry and maintenance. Some important tactics to consider implementing would be:

  • Standardizing data input practices. Outline the rules for team members to follow when they input new information into your nonprofit database. This includes procedures for inputting names, phone numbers, physical email addresses, employment information, and all other relevant data points.
  • Creating a data training process for staff. Create a shared document that includes all the details team members need to use the database effectively. Review the process in a meeting or training seminar so that everyone is on the same page for protocol.
  • Defining rules for handling errors. Define the process of correcting errors and include it within your data input process documentation. Who is responsible for fixing incorrect, incomplete, or duplicate records in your system?
  • Streamlining your donor-facing forms to only ask for essential information. This refers to elements that request information from the donor, such as your newsletter sign-up page or online donation form. Streamlining these platforms will help prevent the buildup of unnecessary or harmful data that inevitably clogs your database.

Using these practices as a means of standardizing your data maintenance approach will help make the process manageable. The maintenance process is customizable to your organization, so be sure to implement whatever tools work best for you!
This section discusses the benefit of data hygiene experts.

Step 5: Bring an expert on board to help

Establishing good data hygiene can be challenging, especially when you’re not sure where to start. Professionals that specialize in nonprofit data hygiene can set your team up with a concrete plan for future success in data management practices.

Database marketing specialists can assist with all of the processes outlined in the steps above, but they don’t stop there. These professionals provide a wide array of other services, such as:

  • Merge and Purge: Identifying and combining or eliminating duplicate records in your database.
  • File Conversions: Converting files into useful formats according to the various needs of your organization.
  • A/B Splits: Segmenting your data into groups to determine which marketing strategies are most effective.
  • Parsing: Splitting up the elements of one record into separate fields in your database.
    Data appends. Supplementing data from your organization’s internal database with external information. Learn more about how NPOInfo can help you do this!

This graphic provides an overview of nonprofit database marketing services
Beyond hygiene, data marketing firms also conduct data enhancement, audience building, targeted digital marketing, and other marketing efforts. Partnering with professionals containing these valuable skills will leave your organization with a stronger framework for future campaigns.

This section discusses donor database best practices.

3 Donor Database Best Practices to Improve Your Data Hygiene

The section covers standardizing your nonprofit data entry.

Create processes for standardizing data formatting.

To make sure all relevant donor data appears in reports and is properly formatted, establish standards. For processes that are unique to your organization, you’ll need to formulate your own internal standards.

You will want to have rules in place for information such as:

This graphic displays important nonprofit donor data information to gather.

  • Names: Decide how you will deal with formal first names versus nicknames or preferred names. Designate a field for each and use them consistently. Set rules for capitalization and abbreviation, but avoid writing names as fully capitalized.
  • Addresses: Determine whether you spell out or abbreviate a roadway, such as writing “Street” or “St.” Set rules for entering apartment numbers. For example, if you are referring to someone living in Apartment 10, would you reference it #10, Apt. 10, or Unit 10? Decide whether or not to abbreviate the names of states, like CA vs California.
  • Donation Dates: Should the donation date entered be the date on the check or the deposit date?
  • Spouses and households: Define a process for associating contacts who live in the same household. By grouping individuals with the same address, you can avoid redundancy in your messaging.
  • Job titles: Decide to spell out or appreciate job titles. Create a list of standard titles—such as Doctor or Dr.—and how they should be shortened if you plan to use abbreviations.
  • Phone numbers: Standardize the entry of phone numbers using. You might use parenthesis ( (555) 555-555), dashes (555-555-555) or no punctuation (555555555).

When it is all said and done, as long as the information is held to the same standards, you should have no need to worry. Be sure to collect the same information for all of the contacts in your database and whenever possible, include as much information as you can.
This section covers scheduling regular nonprofit donor data backups

Schedule regular data back-ups.

An important, and often forgotten, component of data collection is regularly backing it up. In a survey by Jay Love, 60% of organizations admitted to not backing up their data properly each day. Further, only 5% claimed to even test their backup solutions–a recipe for disaster!

In case of a software crash, the last thing you want to happen is a loss of all of your data. To prevent this from occurring, it is essential that your organization undergoes proper back-up procedures each day to ensure your data remains safe.

Equally important to backing up your data is testing your data. By this we mean, your organization should run tests to make sure the data saved in your backup is recoverable and usable.
This section covers the different kinds of data appends.

Invest in data appends

To enhance your clean data, it would be in the best interest of your nonprofit to invest in data appends. By doing so, you will house the most organized and up-to-date information within your database.

NPOInfo offers a wide array of services that can assist the data append process. Such services include:

  • Employer Appends: Knowing where your donors work is incredibly important. Here at NPOInfo, we use our proprietary screening and identification methods to append employer information, and oftentimes a job role, to individual records. Our screening method gathers data from both public and private sources, giving you the most accurate information possible.
  • Email Appends: Emails are crucial to reaching your donors and not to mention, the most cost-efficient for your organization. Therefore, it is important you have the right email addresses listed within your database. NPOInfo can help you fill in any of those gaps.
  • Phone Number Appends: Whether you’re looking to contact a donor or constituent, having the correct phone number is necessary. The NPOInfo phone number append service provides you with both cellphone and landline numbers to be used for both your regular donation solicitations, as well as matching gift reminders.
  • Date of Birth Appends: Being aware of your supporters’ ages and dates of birth is important to your organization’s marketing efforts. Whether it be for birthday mailing or market segmentation, our services will help you to best pinpoint birthdates for all of your needs.
  • Address Appends: With more than 40 million Americans moving each year, having up-to-date address information will save your organization significant funding that can be lost due to misinformation. Double the Donation offers National Change of Address screenings to ensure your organization has up-to-date mailing addresses. Further, NPOInfo provides standardized addresses that meet the USPS’s requirements for bulk mailing rates.

Data appends provide irreplaceable value to your organization’s marketing and fundraising efforts, so consider the help of NPOInfo in your next data append pursuit!

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of proper nonprofit data hygiene, here are some additional resources to explore:

This image guides users to optimize their nonprofit data with NPOInfo.

The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide to Data Append Services

The most important component of your nonprofit is its mission — what you set out to achieve through your organization is the entire reason for its existence. In order to fulfill those goals, you need to spread the word and gain support in one form or another. Appending data, or the process of adding new data points to your nonprofit’s records to give you additional information about supporters, can help you find the right people to build your following.

From appending contact information to conducting wealth screening, there are plenty of options that can play into your development strategies and push your mission forward.

Data appends may be new to you, and they might even sound a bit intimidating. Thankfully, there are professional data append services out there to do the work for you and let you focus on what matters most: strengthening your nonprofit’s impact.

At NPOInfo, we specialize in data append services for nonprofit organizations. Using that expertise, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to nonprofit data append services, helping you to level up your supporter engagement strategies. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Comprehensive and clean data can transform your nonprofit’s strategies, enabling you to verify supporters’ contact information and create targeted outreach that’s tailored to their interests. Ready to see the complex, but useful topic of data append services made simple? Let’s get started.

Get a free quote from NPOInfo for your data append service needs.

NPOInfo, a nonprofit data append service, defines data appending.

What is data appending?

Put simply, data appending is the process of adding new information to your nonprofit’s database. This could be done to correct outdated, void, or inaccurate data, or to supplement existing data with more information from external sources.

NPOInfo, a data append service, illustrates its definition of data appending.

By filling any gaps in your database, the data becomes infinitely more valuable to your nonprofit. A missing email or phone number has no worth to your marketing efforts. Neither does missing wealth insights. A valid method of communication and accurate wealth data will allow you to reach a potential donor or volunteer with a tailored ask.

Or, if you’re pursuing corporate philanthropy initiatives, then accurate company information through an employer append will be incredibly insightful.

Data Appending Categories

There are three main types of data appending that you’ll want to consider, including:

  • Forward: This refers to adding additional details to basic information. For instance, your organization already has an individual’s name and address, and the append adds their phone number to their profile.
  • Reverse: The reverse, on the other hand, is filling in the gaps of a lone detail that has no accompanying basic info. Let’s say your organization has a list of phone numbers with no names. You would use the process of reverse appending to get the names to go with the numbers.
  • Fractional: Fractional appending is a combination of forward and reverse appending. To illustrate, imagine you have someone’s name and email address, but you need their postal address. Sorting data to find that piece of info is fractional appending.

The type of appending you’ll find most useful depends on the type of data your nonprofit needs appended, but you’ll most likely using forward appending based on the information that you already have on constituents.

Data Appending Timing

Beyond the three types of data appending, there are also two ways to acquire appended data that affect how quickly you’ll receive the information:

  • Real-time: This method of obtaining appended data occurs when a set of information is sent to a server that fills in the additional information in real-time, on an as-needed basis. This option works best for organizations that need automatic, immediate information on individual records. For example, your organization could partner with a data append service to analyze each transaction made through your online donation form and have missing contact information appended to each transaction as they’re made.
  • Batch: This refers to appending data to a batch of multiple records all at once. This is the best choice for nonprofits that have a large, existing database in need of organization. For example, you could send a file with 100 records, each with missing contact details and wealth data, to a data append service, and they would append the missing details to each record in a batch manner.

Whether you use real-time or batch acquisition depends entirely on the needs of your organization. Both are accurate and efficient processes.

What types of data can you append?

Your nonprofit can append many different categories of data to support your marketing efforts. Whether you’re looking to refresh outdated contact information or pull wealth data to create targeted fundraising asks, you’ll want to consider the types of data that will play into those strategies.

So that you have a stronger understanding of the type of data your team needs, here are the four main types of data you might consider appending for your constituents.

Data Append Type #1) Contact Information

Everything from phone numbers and email addresses to social media profiles and other methods of contact is appendable data.

Making sure the contact information you have is accurate by verifying current info and adding in additional contact info when needed will exponentially expand your nonprofit’s reach with its audience.

You might consider this type of data append when you’re struggling to get into contact with your supporters. However, we recommend regularly appending this information on a regular basis since your supporters’ contact information likely changes on a regular basis.

Data Append Type #2) Demographic Data

Demographics illustrate who your audience members are as individuals. This might include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Income
  • Employment
  • Level of education
  • Marital status

Appending demographic data will allow you to understand who your donors are, what types of programs they might be interested in, and what platforms you should use to effectively contact them.

For example, a birthdate append will let you know how old each supporter is, cluing you into the best platforms and types of opportunities you should promote to them. If you segment your constituents by age and want to target younger donors, you

Data Append Type #3) Geographic Data

Appending data based on geography allows you to target an audience based on where they are located. This type of data is especially useful if your nonprofit operates in a localized area.

For instance, knowing their general location through a postal append will help you elevate opportunities that are local to them, maximizing the likelihood that they’ll get involved.

Data Append Type #4) Donor Wealth Screening

Wealth screening gives nonprofits insight into a donor’s assets to learn how much and how likely they are to donate. Conducting donor wealth screening can help pinpoint which donors are open to increasing their support, allowing nonprofits to focus their energy on a specific group of individuals rather than expending resources on cultivating unlikely supporters.

Some of the wealth data your nonprofit might append includes each donor’s:

  • Networth
  • Propensity to give
  • Charitable giving to other organizations
  • Business and foundation affiliations
  • Real estate
  • Stock holdings

To conduct a wealth data append, you’ll need to turn to software that compares your constituents’ identifying information to data found across charitable giving and wealth databases to determine prospects’ capacity and willingness to give. Then, you can use the information you gather to segment your donors, create target outreach, and tailor the donation amount and frequencies you request to match each segment’s capacity to give.

Note that wealth screening is the only type of data append that our experts at NPOInfo don’t offer. However, we’re more than willing to chat about your data enrichment needs! Explore our offerings and reach out for a quote if you’re looking to append contact, demographic, or geographic information for your supporters.

NPOInfo defines data append services.

What is a data append service?

With thousands of data inputs to evaluate and supplement, data appending can get quite technical and time-consuming. That’s where data append services come in.

NPOInfo illustrates its definition of data append service.

A data append service is a service that handles the process of filling in the gaps in your database and adding more useful information to your existing data. In terms of value proposition, data append services help your nonprofit acquire greater insights into your target audience.

We’ve covered what data appending is and data append services are – we’ve also covered the types of data appends you can use as an organization. Now, let’s dive into why data append services are important to your nonprofit.

NPOInfo explains what data append services can do for nonprofits.
What can data append services do for your nonprofit?

According to IBM, bad data costs companies in the U.S. $3 trillion annually. That’s no insignificant amount to a business, especially nonprofits that want to put as much money as possible to their cause as opposed to overhead expenses. Data append services can help prevent this wasteful cost.

From a positive perspective, comprehensive data helps your organization reach your target audience with greater efficiency and return on investment. Since data append services boost the amount of quality information in your database, you’ll have more impactful data available for your use.

For more details on how data append services serve your organization, here’s a list of five general benefits:

NPOInfo illustrates the benefits of data append services.

  • More information: Data append services grant you access to a wealth of information that would otherwise be unavailable to you. Data append services can easily provide data such as phone numbers, email addresses, and even mailing addresses.
  • Better information: Not only can data append services provide more info, but they also provide cleaner, more accurate info about supporters. These services complete missing data points and verify existing ones to be sure everything in your database is full and accurate.
  • Greater segmentation: With more quality information, your nonprofit will be better equipped to segment your database into groups. That way, you’ll have segments ready to help you reach your desired target audiences.
  • Faster processing: Data append services are professionals at data appending. They know what they’re doing, and can do it quickly. Ultimately, these services will save your nonprofit a significant amount of time compared to doing it yourself.
  • Lower costs: As we said, bad data costs organizations a lot of money. Save the expense of avoidable errors with the help of data append services.

Bear in mind that these are the benefits that any organization can expect from creating more comprehensive constituent profiles.

Nonprofit-Specific Benefits

But how do data append services specifically benefit nonprofits? Let’s take a look at three perks unique to mission-driven organizations, including:

  • Heightened awareness: If you have more accurate contact information for your audience, you can confidently send communications to individuals, knowing that they will receive them. More people will know about your nonprofit and its mission. A correct phone number, email, or postal address makes all the difference in outreach efforts.
  • Increased fundraising: One of the effects of heightened awareness is raising more money for your cause. Spreading the word about your organization with the help of accurate data appending is an excellent fundraising tactic.
  • Access to nonprofit-specific data: Data append service providers that specialize in nonprofit data appending, like NPOInfo, can provide you with information especially relevant to nonprofits. For instance, data regarding a donor’s employer can help you discover matching gift opportunities.

Now you know why data append services are so valuable, and you’re probably ready to get started. But first, let’s explain how data append services actually append data.

NPOInfo explains how data append services work.
How do you append data?

Data appending is adding new relevant information from external sources to an existing database.

For data append services to complete the process, there are multiple steps they must follow. Here are the six main parts:

NPOInfo illustrates the steps of data append services' process.

  1. Formatting: All the data should be converted into the same format, usually in a comma-separated value (CSV) format, to be properly analyzed.
  2. Uploading: After the data is properly formatted, it should all be put into a single file and sent to the secure file transfer protocol of the specific service.
  3. Matching: Once the file uploads successfully, the data append service begins to match client data with that of their business database to identify missing pieces and those needing correction.
  4. Enhancing: Enhancing refers to the actual completion of the necessary edits identified in the matching process. Individuals’ emails are added to their corresponding names and postal addresses, and inaccurate data pieces are corrected.
  5. Verification and validation: After matching and enhancing, data is sent to the data append service’s verification team in order to validate data. This process could be manual, automated, or a combination of the two. For example, the verification team may check to be sure emails included in the dataset don’t trigger a failed delivery message.
  6. Downloading: Finally, after the appending process is done, the data file is sent to the client to be downloaded for their use. Data append services can offer the file in essentially any format desired by the client.

That’s it! The process is fairly straightforward, whether you’re conducting wealth screening, appending contact details, or pulling employer data for your constituents.

We’ve discussed what data appending and data append services are, why they matter, and how they work— now it’s time to help you decide who to work with.

NPOInfo lists examples of data append services.

5 Data Append Services to Check Out

If your nonprofit is ready to get started with data appending, begin the process by exploring your options for the right data append service.

Here are five for your consideration:

Our Top Recommendation: NPOInfo
NPOInfo is a data append service for nonprofits.

NPOInfo is a data append service uniquely designed to work with nonprofit organizations to improve their fundraising efficiency. We guarantee accurate results, quick turnarounds, and thorough investigation into every possible opportunity for your organization.

Nonprofits of every shape and size including schools, healthcare institutions, associations, and more can benefit from our data enrichment services, which include:

  • Employer appends: Employer appends will let you know where your donors work. For nonprofits, this service is incredibly helpful in identifying corporate matching programs you can make use of, as well as forging stronger corporate connections. We use a combination of public and private information including government records, SEC filings, social media profiles, business registrations, and more in completing this data append service.
  • Email appends: We can provide you with up-to-date email addresses for each of your donors through our email appends. Emails are the most cost-effective option to reach out to a large number of donors at once.
  • Phone number appends: Just like with email appends, our phone number append services will provide you with the most accurate phone numbers for your entire donor database. We can find both cellular and landline numbers for you to use in your next donor call spree or phone-a-thon campaign.
  • Date of birth appends: This append service is often overlooked by nonprofits in their data collection processes, but it shouldn’t be! Knowing your donors’ birthdays will allow you to segment your audience by age bracket, and even plan a personalized birthday mailing campaign. With average match rates of up to 70%, our date of birth appending can easily and accurately provide you with the month and year that your donors were born in.
  • Postal address appends: Did you know that more than 40 million Americans move each year? That means almost 10% of addresses become outdated annually. Use our address append services to keep your mailing address database up to date and accurate. NPOInfo uses the official USPS National Change of Address process to identify any address changes registered with USPS in the last 48 months. With the information we find, we’ll provide you with an updated standardized list of addresses to help with your next round of fundraising letters.

If one of these services doesn’t match exactly what you’re looking for, we’re still happy to chat about how we can fit into your data enrichment strategies, and we’d love to connect you with one of our trusted partners in the space if needed!

How to Get Started

Now that you know all the valuable services NPOInfo offers to your nonprofit, let’s talk about the process of working with us.

Here’s what you can expect by partnering with our experts:

  1. Select your services. After considering which gaps in your database you want to fill, choose the data append service(s) that will best meet your needs.
  2. Get a quote. Our team will review your requested data appends and anticipated record count, and from there, we’ll give you a fair and accurate quote.
  3. Upload your records. Securely send your records to NPOInfo with all the required info, and we’ll get right to work. Pro tip: the more data you can provide, the more accurate your appends will be.
  4. Receive your appends. Once we finish our appending processes, we’ll send the appends your way. Our team will be available to answer any questions you may have about the reports, and we can even help you import the appended data into your existing database.
  5. Keep your data fresh. Even after your first data append, donors may change addresses, phone numbers, emails, and other information again and again. NPOInfo will maintain a relationship with your organization to keep your data updated and fresh for years to come.

When it comes to data append services specifically for nonprofits, NPOInfo is the best of the best. Reach out for a custom quote, so we can help strengthen your supporter relationships with stronger data!

Get a quote for NPOInfo's unparalleled data append services.

General Data Append Services

There are many general data append services that aren’t specifically created for nonprofit organizations.

While we recommend going with services that are geared toward your organization’s needs, here are four other well-known options:

  • Experian: Experian’s data append services focus on providing customer demographics and wealth screening services to help businesses develop a profile of their most profitable customers, anticipate buying behaviors and trends, and identify potential new customers.
  • Melissa: Melissa offers standard data append services both in the U.S. and internationally, as well as a customer profiling service similar to that of Experian.
  • Accurate Append: Accurate Append focuses on contact information services, including email, phone, and address appends.
  • Webbula: Webbula specializes in email data appends for different professionals: marketers, CRM directors, advertisers, and more.

For nonprofit organizations, we’d recommend partnering with nonprofit-specific data append services. This is because data append services like NPOInfo that are designed to work with nonprofits will best understand the unique needs and challenges your nonprofit faces – and we’ll know how to get you the data that will best fix your problems.

NPOInfo concludes its rundown of data append services.

Wrapping Up

Nonprofit data appends are a valuable investment for many nonprofits because they provide more quality data, greater efficiency in data analysis, and save your organization money in the long run.

Before exploring different providers, here’s are some final thoughts on how you to select the best data append service for your mission-driven organization:

  • Remember you’re a nonprofit. There are many data append services out there. For nonprofits, you’ll see the best results working with a nonprofit-specific service like NPOInfo. We know your goals and how to provide the best data to help you meet them.
  • Really consider what data gaps you want to fill. As you’ve seen, not all data appends are created equally. You can get an email append, a phone append, wealth screening, and many others. Know what you’re looking for before selecting a service.
  • Avoid a fixed mindset. Data appending is an ongoing process—after all, data will continue to become outdated as the years go by. Make sure you’re satisfied with the data append service you first selected and if not, pivot as needed.

To begin the process of appending data to your nonprofit’s database, reach out to the team at NPOInfo today. In the meantime, to help you with other aspects of operating a nonprofit, check out these additional resources.