Donor Management Using NCOA

The National Change of Address system is an important tool for efficient Donor Management. 

The NCOA database is a set of data that includes the permanent change-of-address records maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. Here is how it works:  

  • Every time someone living in the U.S. moves and submits a change-of-address form to their local post office, their new addresses are recorded in the NCOA database.
  • The Post Office automatically checks addressed mail against this database for a predetermined period so that mail is appropriately forwarded to its recipient.
  • The USPS keeps change-of-address records on file for 48 months, which means that it can track address changes from the past four years and send mail to the correct address once the individual has moved.

Why is this important? 
  • If an organization's Donor addresses are not updated, mail has the potential to become undeliverable.
  • When this happens, you can lose touch with your most loyal Donors.
  • Costs may increase, to include costs to process and resend returned mail.

DonorDock suggests running a check quarterly, semi annually, or on an annual basis to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your contacts. 

The following guide is intended to assist your organization in verifying addresses using the NCOA database. This process can be broken down into 3 easy steps: 

  1. Export the list of Donors in question from DonorDock using a Contact Report
  2. Run this export through National Change of Address (NCOA) database
  3. Import Data back into DonorDock with our easy to use Import tool