Every nonprofit I’ve ever worked for struggles to clean up and update their donor database. This happens because we get distracted and have so much to do, we do not understand how the database works, or a million other reasons. But we cannot lose sight of why a clean database is important.
Why should you clean up your database? Fundraising professionals are usually not at a job for more than 2 or 3 years. If you are not cleaning up old data and inputting new data all of those contacts and the information your or your employees have in your head leaves with them. Your database is the best place to hold all of the giving and personal history of your donors.
Have you ever sent an invitation to a donor and their spouse only to learn that their spouse is remarried or deceased? That kind of thing needs to be changed in the database right away. Current information helps keep your donors confidence in your organization high. Regular updating of addresses and names will keep your costs down because you do not have to resend mailings out. If you have an accurate database it is easier to segment your database and appeal to your donors interests.