Data Downsizing – When to Safely Delete Names From Your Nonprofit Donor Mailing List

“How long should I leave people on my mailing list?”

This is a frequent question among people who are brand novices to fundraising for nonprofits particularly those who utilize direct mail to raise funds.

It’s possible to put people on the list that are too long. It is possible to waste lots of dollars on printing and postage by sending out letters to people who have no plans to giveor have moved away or died. Section 18A Donations

So how do you tell when it’s acceptable to delete the person off your list?

In the beginning, you must get into an habit of maintaining your information free of clutter. If post is delivered to your address, you should try to locate the donor’s present address. Contact the donor, if you can or visit or similar ‘phone book’ site to look up the current contact information of donors.

Second, segment your list. What did the last time each donor made a donation? Sort the list according to this date. Anyone who has given in the last 15 months may be considered a regular donor, and will be included listed. The remaining names are divided into two groups that have made a donation and those who haven’t.

Create a plan to receive the money from every list. People who have donated are considered to be deeply past donors. People who haven’t made a donation are considered potential donors. You might need to adopt extremely different approaches to the two groups. Make sure they have plenty of chances to make a donation and make sure that your appeals are well-crafted and focused on donors.

After about a year or 15 monthshas passed, and you’ve sent mail to them at least five or four times but they’ve never responded, it’s the right time to take them off your list of mailing addresses, but keep their information inside the form of an Excel file. This will allow you to reference the list if you want to. You can use the list of donors who have lapsed for an acquisition listing when mailing an acquisitions package. Some donors who have been lapsed for a long time are re-involved in this type of mailer.

Check this donor list carefully as you acquire it to determine how the response appears. If you notice an average response rate of 1 percent, keep using this list for acquisition. If the response rate drops below 0.5 percent or less then it’s time to end the list completely.

It may take some time to look over your information and organize these lists segmented however the final result will be a slimmer and cleaner mailing list!