All About updates@uw.edu

The Updates team is here to help you! We research and manage the biographical information that goes into Advance. You can send us your updates at updates@uw.edu. (If you are sending us a returned postcard or envelope, please drop it in campus mail to box 359504.)

Below is some getting-started information about updates. If you’re already familiar with biographical updates and you’re looking for more policy-oriented information, check the links at left for more specialized pages or contact us.

What to send us

We’ll update any biographical information, for example:

  • Name and/or salutation
  • Contact information (address, phone, email)
  • Degrees
  • Relationships to other constituents (married, divorced, cousins, siblings, etc.)

What to send to other groups

  • Contact reports and proposals go to Alumni Research and Relationship Management. You can contact them at tracking@uw.edu.
  • Gifts and gift-related questions go to Gift Processing at gifts@uw.edu.
  • Reports and questions about reports pulled from Advance are best answered by the Reporting group at devrpts@uw.edu.
  • Don’t worry if you get the wrong group. We will pass it on!

What to include with your updates

Please include as many as possible of the following.

  • Advance ID for each entity record to be updated.
  • First and last name.
  • A clear and specific description of the information to be updated (e.g., “Please change Mr. Jones’s email to jones@uw.edu”).
  • Your name and/or UW Net ID, so we have someone to contact if there’s a question.
  • The source for any new information (e.g., “Mr. Jones asked me to update his email” or “This list of employment information for new alumni came from our graduate survey.”) Every marriage, divorce, degree, and death is researched, so you can give us a head start by telling us where your information came from.
  • Instructions. If you are sending a spreadsheet of records to be updated, please indicate which information is to be updated for each record. Otherwise we won’t know where to start.
  • The original. If you have a piece of mail returned with no forwarding address, please send us the envelope. It provides additional clues about the intended recipient that will help us deactivate the bad address.
  • Context. We don’t know your constituents as well as you do, so please spell it out for us if you can. For example, if you want us to add a relationship for “Susie, Margaret’s niece,” please include ID numbers and last names for both Susie and Margaret.

Two things you don’t need to send us

  • Returned mail with a forwarding address sticker on it:Once a month, we compare the addresses in Advance to the National Change of Address Database, which is maintained by the US Post Office (which in turn puts the information on those yellow forwarding address stickers). We almost certainly have the new address on the sticker already, so there’s no need to send it over.
  • Lists of degrees for new alumni: once a month we run a program that gets new degrees from the registrar’s office and adds them to people’s records. If a degree looks wrong, please contact us so we can research and fix it.

Some tasks we can do for you

  • Deceasing: We proactively search local and national newspaper information for relevant obituaries. If you hear that one of our constituents has passed on, please send us an email and tell us how the information came to you. We will research it and take the appropriate action.
  • Estates: Notify us, and we will convert a deceased person’s record into an estate.
  • Divorce: There’s usually more to divorce in Advance than just changing the marital status. Send us the parties who need to be marked as divorced, and we will make all the necessary changes.
  • Degrees: If you find some degree information that seems wrong, let us know so we can research it in the Student Database. Electronic records go back only to the early 80s, but we also have access to historic commencement booklets and yearbooks, as well as paper records in the Office of the Registrar.
  • Duplicates: If you find two records that seem to be for the same person or organization, please send us both Advance IDs. We will merge the two records, and Gift Processing will be notified that they need to move the financial information (there is no need to notify Gift Processing of any duplicates).
  • Marriage: Marriages in Advance can be complicated, especially when the couple’s last names are different. Send us the two Advance IDs and we can do it for you.
  • Non-marriage relationships: Need to mark two people as siblings, cousins, parent and child, or friends? Send us the relevant Advance IDs and we will add the information to those records.
  • Contact preference information: If you need to exclude someone from a newsletter or other kind of contact, or if one of your constituents expresses a strong preference for email, let us know and we can provide you with your best option.