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:
- What is data appending?
- What is a data append service?
- What can data append services do for your nonprofit?
- How do you append data?
- 5 Data Append Services to Check Out
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.
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 This could be done to correct outdated, void, or inaccurate data, or to supplement existing data with more information from external sources.
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
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:
- Race and ethnicity
- 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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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:
- Formatting: All the data should be converted into the same format, usually in a comma-separated value (CSV) format, to be properly analyzed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
- What Data Should Nonprofits Collect? Overview & Top Tips. Every nonprofit should spend time creating data-driven strategies to maximize their impact and ROI. Learn what data your team should be collecting with this ultimate guide and actionable advice.
- The Fundraiser’s Guide to Improving Nonprofit Data Hygiene. While you certainly want to guide your strategies with plenty of data on constituents, a cluttered database will actually slow you down. This guide covers how you can maintain a clean database without sacrificing the data you need.
- Top Nonprofit Consulting Firms for Nonprofit Organizations: Data append services like NPOInfo aren’t the only professional groups out there to help nonprofits. Check out this list from Re:Charity featuring a number of professional nonprofit consulting firms.