Home is sometimes where the heart is

Research shows that when people move house charities are amongst the last organisations to find out, meaning they miss out on thousands of pounds of donations.

High up in the pecking order are financial institutions, utility suppliers and tv subscription companies. Consumers typically advise them that they are moving because it has some kind of financial implication; in other words they tell people that bill them. Retailers, charities, automotive dealers and travel companies conversely are all on the ‘not imperative list’ and they’ll only tell them if they happen to be in contact about something else. This means that such organisations are losing track of a large proportion on their database given more than six million people move house each year. When combined with the number of people that pass away, the average rate of data decay is 2 to 3 per cent a month, meaning that a third of an organisation’s database can be obsolete within a year. This equates to a substantial amount of money for charities.

The third sector cannot be seen to be profligate with donations, however, the old adage speculate to accumulate is true. By spending a small amount on data hygiene products, such as SmartLink and SmartDepart, charities will be able to reap the rewards by tracing lapsed donors and reactivating them. This is important as a recent study shows that wrongly addressed direct mail or ‘dear homeowner’ mail turns off recipients. It is said that charity begins at home; but if the donors aren’t at their home it can’t start at all!