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.

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

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 This could be done to correct outdated, void, or inaccurate data, or to supplement existing data with more information from external sources.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. A valid method of communication will allow you to reach a potential donor or volunteer with ease.

Data Appending Categorized

There are three main types of data appending:

  • 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.

Beyond the three types of data appending, there are also two ways to acquire appended data:

  • 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 companies 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, 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. Here’s a list of the three main types:

  • Demographic data: Demographics illustrate who your audience members are as individuals. This includes age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, employment, level of education, marital status, and more.
  • 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.
  • Contact information data: Everything from phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, and other methods of contact are 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.

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 defines data append services.

What is a data append service?

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:

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 help you have 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. 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.

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

  • 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 more money raised. 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 services 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 data appending 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: Following 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.

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:

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 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.
  • 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.

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

  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 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 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, etc. 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.

General Data Append Services

There are many general data append services that aren’t specifically created for nonprofit organizations. To give a brief introduction, here are four:

  • Experian: Experian’s data append services focus on providing customer demographics 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 they save your organization money in the long run.

To wrap up, enjoy these three tips on how 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 equal. You can get an email append, a phone append, 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.