Phone Appending: The Secret to Better Marketing Results

This guide explores the basics of phone appending and how the process empowers organizations to connect with constituents.

Did you know that email marketing databases degrade by about 22.5% every year? Imagine what reaching 22.5% more donors during your next fundraising campaign could do for your cause! That’s where phone appending can help.

By updating and adding phone numbers to your existing records, you can clean your data and ensure communications are successfully delivered. We’ll help you understand the basics of this process, so you can pick an append provider and make your donor profiles more accurate:

Phone appending can turn your outdated contact lists into a goldmine of useful information to fuel supporter engagement. Now, let’s explore how phone appending can ensure you never lose touch with your supporters.

Learn about our phone appending services and our other data enhancement services.

What Is A Phone Append?

Phone appending is a data management process used to update and enhance a database by adding missing phone numbers to existing contacts’ records. This process involves taking known data points, such as names and addresses, from an organization’s contact list and matching them against a comprehensive external database to find corresponding phone numbers.

An example of a profile with an appended phone number

For nonprofits, phone appends mean reaching more supporters via telephone, which can improve engagement, increase fundraising revenue, and enhance communication.

How Does Phone Appending Help Nonprofit Organizations?

At its core, phone appends improve the quantity of reachable contacts and the quality of your interactions. Specifically, working with accurate and updated contact information offers these benefits:

The benefits of phone appends, written below

  • Higher Delivery Rates: Phone appending ensures that your marketing efforts reach the intended audience by updating your contact lists with current phone numbers, reducing the risk of missed connections.
  • Enhanced Customer Targeting. Updated and accurate phone numbers allow for precise segmentation and targeting in marketing campaigns. For instance, you might send personalized event invitations to supporters in nearby locations based on their area codes.
  • Comprehensive Supporter Profiles. Adding phone numbers creates more complete supporter profiles, enhancing understanding and enabling strategic engagement and communication efforts.
  • Saved Time. Phone appending reduces the amount of time spent using outdated or incorrect phone numbers.

No matter your mission or who it serves, you can reach more people and make the most of your outreach with accurate contact information.

How Nonprofits Can Leverage Appended Phone Numbers

Whether you’re looking to re-engage lapsed donors, improve the success rates of your fundraising calls, or simply keep your database current, understanding how to use phone appending can transform your nonprofit’s communication strategy.

Let’s explore specific instances where a phone append can help!

Peer-to-Peer Texting

Nonprofits, particularly advocacy groups, can use phone appending to ensure they have their supporters’ latest mobile numbers. This enables robust peer-to-peer texting campaigns where volunteers and staff can send personalized text messages to rally support, mobilize communities, and keep supporters informed.

Personal Event Invitations

If you want to personally invite guests to events, current contact information will help you get in touch.

Phone appending ensures your organization has your guests’ latest phone numbers, enabling your team to reach out directly with event invitations. Whether you call or text invited guests, this direct contact allows for personalized interactions, where invitations can be tailored based on individual preferences and past engagements. Use phone calls to extend personal invitations and texts to clarify event details, enhancing the likelihood of attendance and making an invitation much more compelling.


During phonathons, volunteers call lists of potential donors to raise funds. Phonathons are a valuable tool for encouraging contributions, sharing mission updates, and strengthening relationships via one-on-one conversations.

By using data appending to update and verify phone numbers before your phonathon, your nonprofit can increase the efficiency of its calls, reduce time spent on incorrect or disconnected numbers, and increase the success rate of its fundraising efforts.

Voter Outreach Campaigns

For nonprofits involved in civic engagement, phone appending is crucial for voter outreach efforts. Updated phone databases enable effective phone banking and text message campaigns that inform and mobilize voters about election dates, polling locations, and voting issues.

Membership Renewal Drives

Nonprofits can use data appending for membership renewal campaigns. By ensuring that all contact information is current, you can reach out via phone or text to remind members about renewal deadlines, the benefits of staying active, and any changes to membership structures.

Steps of The Phone Appending Process

The phone appending process involves several steps to ensure your organization’s database is enhanced with accurate phone numbers. When you work with a reputable phone appending services provider, here’s how the process works:

The steps of the phone appending process, explained below

  1. Supply your constituents’ data. This typically includes relevant data such as full names, postal addresses, email addresses, education information, employer details, and recent donation information. Generally, the more information you include, the easier it will be for the provider to accurately identify the correct individuals.
  2. The provider matches the data. They’ll analyze the provided data and use sophisticated matching algorithms to compare it against their extensive databases.
  3. The provider appends the phone numbers. Once matches are identified, the provider appends the up-to-date phone numbers to the corresponding records in your organization’s database. This step involves not just adding new phone numbers but also updating or correcting existing numbers as necessary.
  4. The provider verifies the information. After appending the phone numbers, the provider typically conducts a quality assurance check to ensure the accuracy of the phone numbers. The updated database is then delivered back to the organization, ready for use in their communication and marketing efforts.
  5. Integrate the new data into your main database. Updating your nonprofit’s CRM ensures that all systems and teams have access to the latest contact information for outreach and fundraising activities.

By following these steps, your organization can significantly enhance its communication strategies by ensuring you have the most current and correct phone numbers for supporters, corporate sponsors, and beneficiaries.

How To Choose A Phone Appending Service Provider

As mentioned, you’ll need to work with a provider to conduct phone appends. Phone appending services help organizations grow by improving their contact lists, leading to better marketing efforts, improved relations, and greater support.

The most basic aspects you need in a provider are the abilities to fill in missing phone numbers and check existing ones you have on file. However, there’s more to look for in a provider to ensure you receive accurate contact information in a secure way.

Look for these characteristics to identify a reputable provider:

The qualities of a good phone appending services provider, explained in the text below

The Ability to Append Different Types of Numbers

While most people prefer communicating using cell phones, landlines are still around. Make sure your phone appending services provider can find different types of phone numbers, so you can get in touch with every donor. A good services provider will also be able to provide businesses’ phone numbers, too.

Data Accuracy and Quality

Your primary concern should be the accuracy and quality of the data you receive. After all, the point of a phone append is to ensure you’re calling the right numbers to avoid wasting time.

The service you choose should have a proven track record of high match rates and access to extensive, up-to-date databases. This ensures that the appended phone numbers are accurate and the likelihood of errors or outdated information is minimal.

Compliance With Regulations

Your service provider must comply with all relevant data privacy and protection laws, such as the National Do Not Call Registry. This is crucial to protect your organization from legal risks and to ensure ethical data handling.

Quick Turnaround Time

The speed at which a service provider can process your request and return updated data matters. Look for providers who can offer quick turnaround times without compromising data quality.

Security Measures

Any time you collect data, you need to exercise care. Ensure that the service provider follows all nonprofit regulations regarding data privacy and collection. Your provider should also use secure methods for data transfer and storage and have strong safeguards in place to protect your information from unauthorized access or breaches.

For example, our data enhancement services implement stringent data security measures, such as using secure databases that enable encryption. We also follow all nonprofit regulations regarding data protection and privacy.

Pricing and Cost Efficiency

Your nonprofit works hard for each dollar it earns. Compare various appending services’ pricing structures to find one that offers good value for your money.

Some services might charge per record appended, while others offer packages or subscriptions. Consider your budget and the scale of your data needs when choosing a provider.

Other Types of Appends

Your constituents have more data than just phone numbers. Get a better understanding of who your supporters are by using a provider that will append other data, such as:

Your organization can append phone numbers, postal addresses, emails, employer information, and birthdates.

  • Employer Data: Knowing where your supporters work enables you to identify corporate giving opportunities, like matching gifts and volunteer grants. Insight into their positions will help you estimate salaries and giving potential.
  • Email Addresses: Lower your bounce rates by appending email addresses. After all, email marketing generates an average $36 for every dollar spent, making it one of the most lucrative fundraising channels.
  • Postal Addresses: Make sure your matching gift letters, brochures, thank-you notes, and other direct mail are delivered by using a postal address append.
  • Dates of Birth: Encourage birthday fundraisers, segment your campaigns by age group, or simply reach out to let supporters know you’re thinking of them on their special day by collecting their birthdays with a date of birth append.

Determine which types of data will be most helpful to your organization, and look for a provider who delivers those appending services.

Final Thoughts on Phone Appending

Your constituents’ contact information serves as the foundation of your fundraising and marketing efforts. By leveraging phone appends, you’ll be equipped with the most current and precise data, enhancing your ability to effectively reach out and connect with your constituents.

As you continue refining your data management strategies, explore other best practices for maximizing your outreach and impact with these resources:

Learn more about our data enhancement services, including phone number appending.