FUNDRAISING NEWS: Royal Mail product to cut direct mail waste

Emma Maier

The Royal Mail has created a new database product to help charities keep their supporter records correct and up to date, after it was revealed that incorrectly addressed direct mail cost UK businesses and charities £163m in 2002.

The latest research from Royal Mail showed that up to 69 per cent of charity and business-related letters are incorrectly addressed, with 172 million items of mail sent to the wrong address in 2002.

The Royal Mail's new database product, the Business Changes File, has been designed to help charities keep track of existing and potential supporters, as well as assisting companies to follow their existing and potential customers. The database compiles data from Royal Mail's business movers list, as well as details of new phone connections and listings for businesses that are no longer trading.

Charities will be able to cross-reference their records with the Royal Mail's database to keep their own records up to date and identify new potential supporters.

"The Royal Mail is in a unique position to help charities of any size achieve more from their post," said Richard Roche, head of business development at the company. "It seems incredible that so many fail to accurately target donor addresses.

"We are dedicated to enabling charities to deliver more targeted mailing and, ultimately, generate more donations, and I am sure that the Royal Mail Business Changes File will provide them with access to greater and more accurate data," he said.

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