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Created on: 12/10/18 01:35 PM Views: 510 Replies: 11
Monday, December 10, 2018 at 1:35 PM

We are having a really big problem and I finally got around to asking for some help.

We have about 28,000 names in database, 15,000 are getting mail, 9,000 are lost, 3,000 In Memory, 3,000 no mail.

The problem comes in when we send out to mail service. We send 15,000 mailers. When the services gets it they run thru some government database and update any changed address. Some come back as "address not found". Currently we are using microsoft access and Exel to keep the database. Sometimes we will get 1,000 or 2,000 address that need to need to be updated. Right now the only way to do this is by hand. cut and paste each one. This is way to hard too do so the database gets more and more messed up. I was thinking is there a way to use Class creator to deal with our mail lists?

Monday, December 10, 2018 at 6:57 PM - Response #1

Our Master database of alumni is 28,000 in Excel, including lost and deceased. When I get ready to do a mailing list of the actual 16,000 active we mail to, I tag the ones I'm mailing to and give them a temporary ID number. Then when I submit that subset for NCOA updates, I include that ID number so I can synch the file back to the Master. I sort the Master by that number, sort my mailing list by that number, and then paste the mailing list onto the edge of the master. I use the =(EXACT) function on the temp ID to be sure they line up correctly, then do =(EXACT) on the address and zip to find which addresses changed. Hiding all the columns on both sections that don't involve address changes, it's now easier to copy & paste them without having to do lookups for each. I've left off a lot of steps here, but I can elaborate privately. The NCOA process changes everything to USPS standard formats, so now we've got our whole list formatted so I don't get erroneous mismatches due to punctuation or abbreviation.

Edited 12/10/18 6:58 PM
Monday, December 10, 2018 at 8:54 PM - Response #2


I should have asked you a long time ago. That is the ticket! Thank you.

Of course I do have a few thoughts. What would it possible to do the same update on CC? It would be nice to have only one database.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 11:04 AM - Response #3

OK, learned something new. NCOA - Had no idea this service even existed.

A google search produced National Change of Address and apparently numerous providers.

Here is the Wikipedia description: NCOA

With all the various providers, do you all happen to know which one is best, cheapest, what does it cost, etc.?

Any thoughts about the ins and outs of the various services?

Thanks in advance

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7:37 PM - Response #4

I still think there is a better way. Cutting and pasting all the updates is a lot of work. I think there has to be a way to have this all done automatically. Probably cost a bunch of money. Of course, websites like CC used to cost a bunch of money until CC came along.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 11:37 PM - Response #5

Current updating existing main profile data automatically is not possible even if you upload a new file that matches IDs, typical request in the past has been to update/load yearbook images - that would be way more useful to beginners.

Updating addresses would be sort of the same thing. You'd still have to enter the IDs per change from any NCOA file.

This has been this way since the start and 99.9999% sure it will remain that way. Shocked

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 5:52 PM - Response #6

Let us know if you do find a better way. My successors will want to know!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 8:21 PM - Response #7


Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 8:21 PM - Response #8


Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 8:21 PM - Response #9


Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 12:35 PM - Response #10

Yes, somebody is going to have to take that over eventually. We've found people to handle the other alumni administration tasks I was doing--board meetings, website updates, announcements, class reunion rosters, newsletter and magazine publications, email responses, membership and donation processing, annual picnic coordination, etc. All that and more, with the last six years as caretaker for my father who recently passed at 103. I delegate what I can, but I'm still updating the Master database with membership status, producing mailing lists with renewal reminders and custom letters. I'm gettin' pretty tired!

Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 2:46 PM - Response #11

I understand.

Pretty big job just doing database.

The database is key!

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