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Here’s another danger when swapping lists with other organizations and doing list cleaning where you inadvertently combine contact records that shouldn’t be combined. I continually get emails and texts for some guy named Brian who apparently has my same last name and likes similar causes. As the lists of these similar causes get swapped around, I get more and more messages from causes and political candidates that are inoffensive to me, but I don’t want to support.

Net result: I delete every single message from all of these organizations, including the ones I used to support, simply because I am being inundated with them. That means the original organization to which I donated has lost me as a donor.

If you swap a list,

1) demand that your organization will send out the email, snail mail or text for another organization using YOUR mail house or digital service. Never give your list to another organization directly. If you do, you have no assurance that they will only use it once, even if they agree to that in writing.

2) Engage in a list swap only once or twice a year.

3) make sure you have the ability to refuse to send out the proposed content if you sense people in your database may not like what they receive.

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