For a century and a half, Action for Children has been steadfast in its mission to protect and support vulnerable children and young people in the UK. Their charitable services provide practical and emotional care, amplify the voices of those in need, and advocate for lasting improvements in their lives.
Each festive season, the charity’s Secret Santa campaign aims to raise funds for some of the 4.2 million children living in poverty. The goal is to bring the magic of Christmas, ensuring they have warm clothes, a hot meal, and a special present. Last year alone, Action for Children assisted 766,000 children and their families across the UK.
Andrew Wilks, Supporter Operations Lead at the charity, emphasises the crucial role accurate data plays in communicating with supporters and raising funds for vulnerable children. With over 500,000 contacts in their database, Andrew turned to AFD’s address data experts to understand the current levels of data accuracy within the contact database.
“Initially, we requested a data audit to show how many of our supporter addresses matched to the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF) and understand how many of our contacts had deceased or moved house (known as ‘Goneaways’).
The results instantly showed us the necessity of regularly cleansing address data, flagging records of deceased or gone-away individuals (to suppress from mailings), and obtaining available forwarding addresses.” Andrew adds; “For a charity focused on communication and fundraising through direct mailings, accuracy is paramount. Mailing supporters who are no longer at the address held, especially those who passed away can clearly be upsetting for family members who might be receiving that communication.
For contacts that have moved, it’s a waste of resource. Direct mailings are a vital connection that tells the stories of children we have helped and advertises current fundraising initiatives that need support. It’s essential that those communications go to the correct contacts at an accurate address. As a result of the data audit, all our supporter data now goes through the AFD process regularly”.
Action for Children recognises the challenges of managing a high volume of enquiries and donations. Andrew continues; “The AFD data cleansing process proved invaluable in reducing manual work, saving hundreds of hours, and improving data quality. The charity now operates with increased compliance, efficiency, and sensitivity, and with greater confidence in the quality of our supporter data.”
When asked what his recommendation would be to other organisations wanting to cleanse their contact database, Andrew
concludes; “If you want a positive impact on operations through an overall improvement in contact data quality – we recommend reaching out to The Postcode
People at AFD Software. All the team are very knowledgeable and extremely helpful in terms of delivering a quality service, both in terms of the accuracy of the data, but also the professionalism with which individual tasks are handled and dealt.” Another reason for celebration!
Do you have complete confidence in the accuracy of your contact database? Contact one of AFD’s Data Quality Consultants to discuss your specific requirements today on 01624 811711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.