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Manage Your #Association Database

Maintaining a database can be a challenge. And if ensuring that data is entered consistently and that
no duplicates are created wasn't enough, data becomes obsolete at a rate of 30% or more per year.

Factors like economic activity and an industry’s rate of innovation will affect the rate of change - for
instance, a list of judges may remain current longer than a list of entrepreneurs.

Acquiring new data - new prospects, members, or sponsors - is costly, so it makes sense to maintain
your database:

  1. Have a documented data layout and make sure all users know the rules. If your database allows organizations’ names to be abbreviated, what is the usual format? Will you follow Canada Post address formats (“St” rather than “Street” or “St.”) and possibly save money on mail distribution?
  2. Make ONE person responsible. If one person is responsible, and empowered to enforce the rules, the job will get done.
  3. Act immediately to correct obsolete data. Immediately pull and update records with undeliverable email or street addresses.
  4. Plan to conduct annual audits. This applies more to non-member data like prospective members, exhibitors, or sponsors. Plan to audit at least 10% of your data (or a minimum 100 records). If more than 15% are out of date, plan a clean-up exercise.
  5. Have clients, members or stakeholders update their own information. During your membership renewal process, ask people to review their data online to minimize your costs. But don’t assume the information is 100% correct. Review it before it goes back into your CRM, especially if you have established formats.
Want more tips?  We have 11!  Click here to download the full document.

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