Best Practices for a Better Database

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Manage your non-members

The non-member merge functionality on the Identity Checkpoint page allows your administrators to use a prepared import .csv file to merge non-member and member accounts either missed by Identity Checkpoint or ignored by the member during the Identity Checkpoint process. This functionality also allows your administrators the option to "batch" merge accounts during an overnight import process, without the manual work of clicking each record in the Member Merge Grid. Your administrators choose if the records should be placed in the Merge Grid for a final review, or if the records should be directly merged into the database during the overnight merge process.

The .csv is created using three column headers:

  • The appropriate column header for your Constituent ID
  • The appropriate column header for your iModules Member ID -- usually "member_id"
  • The column header for the third column will always be “review”. The value/action in each row of this third column will be either "review" or "merge," depending on whether you want to place the records in the Merge Grid for review or directly merge them during the overnight merge process.  If “review” is placed in the final column of the file, the non-member record will be added to the Identity Checkpoint Merge grid immediately upon file processing and you can then review the items and take the appropriate action. Note: Items added to the grid using the import file will be missing a Control Name. If “merge” is placed in the final column of the file, the system will merge the non-member information into the member account overnight and the non-member account will then be deleted. The record will not be placed in the Identity Checkpoint Merge Grid for review prior to the merge. There is a 10,000 record limit per file upload.

Create a culture of data maintenance

Make data updates easy, natural, and non-invasive for your constituents. Here are some ideas that could easily be incorporated into your practices for collecting updated data.

  1. If you send a daily Happy Birthday email (which can be automated through your Encompass email tool), use this as an opportunity to ask for updated information. We see a lot of simple links (“Not your Birthday? Update your information here.”) but you could take it a step further and populate constituent information with Tokens so email recipients can see what you have on file for them. (Pro Tip: Create a box in email and save it as a Favorite for use in all types of emails that displays constituent information through the use of Tokens, and directs constituents to update information if something that displays in inaccurate.)

  2. Consider sending direct mail postcards to constituents that have non-deliverable email addresses, which of course can be tracked and exported through the Bounce Report in your Encompass tools.  The Engagement Metric Dashboard is another useful tool available to you.  It can show you who has not engaged with you via email.  You could then use this report to target these constituents to be part of your direct mail postcards as well.

  3. Think about unique opportunities you might have to collect updated data from your audience. Even that promotion to give alumni with new babies a school bib is a chance to collect updated data!

  4. Make it a daily practice to confirm contact information any time you have an alumnus/alumna on the phone.