Nonprofit Mail processes and requirements are shrouded in mystery, mythology and perplexing acronyms, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Learn more about NCOA updates, the requirements and the practicalities…
If you are finding your NCOA changes cannot be imported back into your database, it is likely that there is one important missing field in your export–the Address Identifier. This field might be an Address ID number or Address Name, depending on your software, but regardless of what it’s called, it functions as the unique identifier of a single address.
Because constituents can have multiple addresses, your software needs this unique identifier in order to know which of these address should be updated from the NCOA file. Attempting to import an NCOA file without the unique identifier will either create exceptions at import, or possibly update the wrong address on a donor’s record.
If you Include the Address ID or Name in all your mail list exports, as well as the First and Last Name fields, you will never have to manually enter updates again. If you’re still having difficulty importing updates, check for blank First and Last Name Fields in your export and import files. Both name fields should be in all exports files, even if you use the Display Name, Salutation and Addressee Names for actual mailings.
Also, most hosted software products offer an NCOA update service (usually under $200 per incident) that can save your staff time and ensure your records have the most up-to-date addresses possible. Some of these services have other useful add-ons, such as email or phone appending, Deceased Finder, and Data Health snapshots.
Donor Perfect, Data Enhancement Services
Raisers Edge, Data Health Center
eTapestry, watch for updated features. They currently offer a Data Health Scorecard on all service packages, NCOA updates for the Essentials and Pro packages, and will soon offer Decease finder, email append and other integrated Target Analytics.
GiftWorks, CASS and NCOA updates