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Data Suppression for Charities

26 May 2015 at 9:21 am
Lina Caneva
Frequently cleansing an organisation’s database should be a priority and not just an afterthought if a Not for Profit is serious about protecting its public reputation and its relationships with donors.

Lina Caneva | 26 May 2015 at 9:21 am


Data Suppression for Charities
26 May 2015 at 9:21 am

Frequently cleansing an organisation’s database should be a priority and not just an afterthought if a Not for Profit is serious about protecting its public reputation and its relationships with donors.  

How clean is your database?

It’s an important question that too few take seriously. A customer or donor database that is not frequently cleansed could be costing your business or charity thousands of dollars.

If you’re spending money on direct marketing, you need to make sure your message reaches its mark. Addressed mail sent to the deceased or someone no longer at the address, wastes money and damages your reputation.

Alliance Data Suppression Services can get your database squeaky clean. Cleansing your data through The Australian Bereavement Register cost-effectively removes the deceased from your mailing list.

Charities that do not cleanse the data they hold put themselves in a most unfavourable light. They cause distress to the bereaved and appear wasteful of precious donor resources.

A professional data suppression service, like The Australian Bereavement Register, makes clean data a simple exercise. For a minimal cost, charities and direct marketers can send their mail with the confidence it will reach its target.

The service is free for friends and family of the bereaved. A woman told us recently, “charities seem to be the worst offenders at sending mail to the deceased. In the three months since dad’s death, 90 per cent of the mail addressed to him was from charities.”


Examples of some of the offending charities appeal letters sent in the two – three months following this person’s death.    

It makes sense for charities to keep track of their donors. It also makes sense to maintain an ethical and professional reputation.

If you’re a fundraiser and you’re not regularly cleaning your data, you’re wasting your money. You’re also letting your brand down. And showing a total lack of empathy for someone who has supported you in the past.

Maintain the goodwill of your past and present donors – as well as your prospects – by regularly washing your data. Clean data means a greater return on your marketing spend and a stronger customer profile. It also reinforces your brand reputation in millions of Australian households.

Contact our specialist team to discuss how we can keep your database in tip-top condition. Phone 1300 873 849 or drop us a line at  

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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One comment

  • Ted Flack Ted Flack says:

    The recent "Data suppression for charities" article is a timely reminder of the importance of keeping fundraising databases up to date. A major part of the problem is the "It's not my job" syndrome in some charity offices. No matter who answers the phone, opens the mail or receives the email from a deceased donor's relative, all staff should be trained to enter a note in the database and draw it to the attention of the person(s) responsible for donor relations. The name and contact details of the contact should be recorded. The first rule is "Do not delete the record". It is better to keep the record but flag it so that it can be excluded from all future campaigns. Action required: (1) Add the "Do not contact" flag on the donors file; (2) Consider writing to the family (if known) to express condolences and to pay tribute to past support of the deceased where appropriate; Every time the data is selected for use in a direct marketing campaign, the second selection criteria (after the chosen segment is selected) must be to exclude all "Do not contact" records.

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