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WaterAid

WaterAid raises an additional £12,000 a year with address cleaning

WaterAid is an international charity dedicated to helping people escape poverty and disease. The charity implemented adddress cleaning to help maintain its database of 450,000 contacts and to maximise its fundraising."We estimate that WaterAid raises an additional £12,000 appeal income each year because of more accurate data on our contacts. We achieve this using Experian Data Quality software."

WaterAid cleans data to fight poverty

WaterAid is an international charity dedicated to helping people escape poverty and disease. The charity operates in 17 countries, with 132 employees in the UK, and many overseas partner organisations.

Maximising fundraising through address management

WaterAid has over 450,000 names and addresses on its database. Establishing and maintaining correct contact details is crucial to ensure that WaterAid maximises fundraising and helps improve the lives of those suffering from poor water sanitation throughout the world.

There are two key annual communications that require complete accuracy of data:

  • 'Fundraising asks' (requests for donations), which are mailed approximately four times each year, often to more than 60,000 contacts a time
  • Mailing of Oasis, the charity's supporter magazine, which is sent to over 130,000 contacts twice a year

With such a large database, WaterAid recognised that not all its mailings were reaching their intended destination. The charity's database of 450,000 contained both inaccurate and incomplete records which resulted in over 5,000 returned mailings each year.

With streams of data entering the WaterAid database, the charity required a solution that could provide a holistic view of all information, and ensure that data was validated before being imported.

The Experian Data Quality solution

"We chose Experian Data Quality for two main reasons", adds Dan Lockeretz. "First, using Experian Data Quality software means we can contact our supporters in the way they want to be addressed - there are no mistakes or errors when we mail our database. Second, we already had an excellent experience of working with Experian Data Quality when using its software for front-end data capture to validate addresses and eradicate errors."

In early 2005, WaterAid implemented address cleaning to help maintain data. It is particularly useful for the charity's direct marketing campaigns as it cleans and verifies addresses against Experian Data Qualitys' enhanced version of Royal Mail's Postcode Address File (PAF). Address cleaning is used up to ten times a week, prior to every import of data from different channels. This enables WaterAid to clean and maintain its customer database on an ongoing basis.

The benefits of data integrity

WaterAid has realised both financial and operational benefits, in particular:

Staying in touch with supporters

WaterAid has seen an increased number of supporters responding to 'fundraising asks' as a result of more accurate data. The charity estimates that it raises an additional £12,000 appeal income each year from an increase in the accurate delivery of both appeals and Oasis magazine. In addition, £1,000 is saved each year from a reduction in the amount of returned mail.

Improves efficiencies in data processing

WaterAid adds approximately 3,500 contacts to its database each month. The implementation of address cleaning has increased the speed of data import by 30 per cent. This helps free up approximately 20 days labour a year, resulting in significant time and cost savings.

Dan Lockeretz concludes, "Experian Data Quality has been an integral partner of ours, helping us to understand the importance of data integrity and enabling us to get closer to our supporters by providing a better and more prompt service. This means that we can really make a difference to those suffering from sanitation problems in the world's poorest countries."

We estimate that WaterAid raises an additional £12,000 appeal income each year because of more accurate data on our contacts. We achieve this using Experian Data Quality software.

Dan Lockeretz - Database Manager, WaterAid

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