Advancement Training & Support partners with Strategic Technology Initiatives to upgrade and improve the biographic data in Advance. We perform routine, comprehensive audits to identify and eliminate bad data, such as mismatched or duplicate records, obsolete or redundant information, misspellings, and data formatting inconsistencies.
We work to automate data cleanup and update our procedures to maximize our mail deliverability rates and minimize the amount of manual address maintenance work. Note: Our focus on address reliability means that “Return Mail Requested” is redundant. Your unit can mail without requesting return mail service–you will save money and effort.
Here are a few of our Routine Maintenance and Address Reliability processes:
The National Change of Address (NCOA) program makes change-of-address information available to mailers to help reduce undeliverable or duplicate mailpieces. The NCoA file contains approximately 152 million records or 48 months of permanent address changes. If an exact match is made with the old address information in the NCOA File, then the NCOA licensee is permitted to provide the move information (new address) to the mailer.
This new address information includes street, city, and state. It also provides standardized 5-digit ZIP Codes, 4-digit add-on codes, and 2-digit delivery point coded addresses for moves, all of which significantly improve mail deliverability.
The NCOA service is provided by private sector companies that are certified and licensed by the Postal Service. Updated, computerized change-of-address information is provided on a regularly scheduled basis to the NCOA licensees by the Post Office.
At least once per year, Records Management partners with Annual Giving and Alum ni & Constituent Relations to send out a tracer mailing. All alumni and donors receive something from us, and the address change information comes back through ACS, a licensed address-change provider.
We integrate the ACS return information with our data. This process helps us identify and research constituents in “Lost” status.
Orion is a program developed in-house to scan Advance for data with various defined problems (e.g., an entity with two preferred addresses, an extra space in a name, information entered in the wrong blank). Advancement Services technicians can go directly from Orion into Advance to make the corrections.
Orion saves us time by identifying potential problems and allowing us to evaluate them before they are fixed. It also helps us maintain the best possible data in Advance.
We receive many new addresses each month, but sometimes the formatting of the new information doesn’t meet Advancement standards for aesthetics or readability. Each month, we reformat thousands of addresses so that they conform to our needs. Here are some samples.
293 SEA CLIFF TRL becomes
293 Sea Cliff Trail
8312 159TH PL NE becomes
8312 159th Place N.E.
8211 TODDERJEN LN SW becomes
8211 Todderjen Lane S.W.