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The Ultimate Guide To NCOA Processing For Nonprofits

NCOA processing
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Have you ever heard of NCOA processing? It might be the answer to all of those postcards and other mailers that return to you as undeliverable.

48 million Americans move each year. This is 17% of the adult population in the US. This means for a database of 15,000 accounts, potentially 2500 constituents may have different addresses if your addresses haven’t been cleaned in the last year, which could result in a significant cost in returned or delayed mail.

NCOA Explained

The NCOA (National Change of Address) update involves both standardizing your address formats per recommendations from the US Postal Service and comparing the addresses on file to the information in the National Change of Address database. This database contains data for all change of address requests filed by US postal customers in the past 48 months.

NCOA doesn’t just find movers, it also corrects addresses such as adding St, Ave, Rd, etc. if missing from your address or changes it if incorrect. It also adds/changes the directional (N, E, S, W, NE, etc.) if necessary, corrects misspellings, adds the +4 to ZIP codes, and formats the address according to USPS standards.

There are times when a person has moved but the new address couldn’t be returned. Examples of this would be a PO Box that’s been closed with no forwarding address, people who have moved to a foreign country or people who have moved but did not provide a new address. Even though a new address can’t be provided, this information is provided to help you know who may need follow up or who may need to be removed from your mailing list.

There may be people who may or may not have moved, but because a key piece of the address is missing or invalid a match can’t be made to the NCOA database to know for sure. NCOA can tell you if the secondary address (apartment or suite number) is missing or invalid.

Having all of your addresses up to date helps facilitate duplicate checking.

If you are considering a data enhancement service such as a phone, email or birth date append, or a deceased suppression service, clean addresses can improve the match rate for these services as they all use the address as part of the primary matching criteria.

If you claim preferred mailing rates, USPS requires that your mailing list be run through an NCOA processing within 90 days of the mailing. A CASS Summary Report is provided with the cleaned addresses. CASS stands for Coding Accuracy Support System and means your addresses have been checked for accuracy against the Postal Service’s database using an approved system.

Bloomerang has partnered with TrueGivers to offer nightly data stewardship updates. With the click of a button, all individual constituents with US addresses will be scanned and updated each night with NCOA information that includes address updates, deceased information (when applicable), and some optional demographic information.

Yes, that’s right – it’s included with your standard Bloomerang subscription!

We are committed to helping the helpers by saving you time and allowing you to focus on what’s important. Say goodbye to yellow return labels and hello to Bloomerang nightly updates today!

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