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Case Study: Why Clean Data Matters


When it comes to data cleanup, the numbers speak for themselves. Prior to our introduction to St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, they were working with a mailhouse whose process was to fix lists but not the data within the database. Our approach with this client was to lay in a solid foundation. In order to do this, we conducted a full data cleanup.


To start, we filled in the blanks. This included putting names in the right fields, correcting how donors were addressed, and deleting duplicate records. These basic fixes made the data usable moving forward.


Redundancies are a common issue we find in most data cleanups. Often spouses will be listed separately and not connected through use of relationships. As a result, multiple mailers can be sent to the same household. Not only does this increase mailing cost, but it leads to unhappy, frustrated donors.


By linking spouses in the database, we lay the groundwork for the development team to solicit more intelligently. In this case, our client was able to combine the total household giving to make their ask. Because it was based on collective giving, they were able to ask for a higher amount, thus receiving more income as a result of our clean-up.



This particular data cleanup also led to a significant mailer cost savings. Prior to the cleanse, this client was seeing 2,100 out of 10,000 mailers not being delivered. At $1 per mailer and an average donation of $25, this resulted in $2,100 in extra cost and $5,250 in lost revenue. Data that needs to be cleaned leads to a high cost in returned mail, missed opportunities, and precious staff time.


Numbers don’t lie. An investment in data cleanup will lead to immediate cost-savings that will last. When we work with you to clean your data, it’s our goal to also make the data usable for the long term, so that the donor information you currently have and information you will gather in the future will be of the most value to you. Simply put, we harness your data so that you can further your mission.


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