Today’s guest blog post is written by Katie Campbell, Data Migration Specialist, PatronManager.
One of the questions we occasionally get here at PatronManager is “What do I do with an account for a couple who is now divorced?” As any development pro knows, addressing your annual fund mailing to a divorced “Mr. and Mrs. Jones” will likely result in both parties sending their donations elsewhere.
When this question comes up, I always think of my time spent as a personal assistant to a divorcé. He was living with his new partner at the time. One of my tasks was to comb the day’s mail for anything with his ex-wife’s name. That mail was to be chucked in the recycling, so as not to upset the new lady of the house. The divorce was a few years old at this point, but blasphemous address salutations still arrived weekly: zoo membership cards, annual fund pledge requests, and plain old junk mail. To keep the peace, those mailings never saw the light of day.
New salutations due to marriages are more often overlooked, but can still wreak havoc in your database and patron relationships. Imagine, for example, the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Ling, who send in a $50 donation. You reply by inviting the couple to become members. You overlook the fact that Mrs. Ling, previously known to you by her maiden name of Joanne Jacobs, has been a loyal member of your organization for three years. The contact records of Mrs. Ling and Joanne Jacobs float in your database, each incomplete, and you continue to mail to Joanne Jacobs at her old address, using her old name. Oof!
Time marches on, and your patrons are always changing. You may recognize that keeping your records up-to-date is an important goal, but do you have a plan in place? Here are a few tips to jump-start the process:Read the Article