A Short List of Ways you can Expand your DatabaseFor community groups it is a constant battle to expand your support base. No group can continue to live on the original support because natural attrition will eventually deplete your numbers.
People move on, they get new interests, move out of the area and unless groups are actively seeking new supporters their ability to continue their good work will slowly diminish.
Groups have to continue to expand their supporter base and most will choose to do it through an ongoing data capture exercise rather than purchasing access to a readymade list or database.
(Those groups wanting more information on buying access to lists, refer to the Buying Lists category in the Mailing and Database Management section of the Media & Marketing Centre).
Data capture is really an impressive sounding way of saying "getting names and information on prospective supporters or contacts for your group".
Some methods of data capture:
- Hold a raffle and ensure that those who purchase tickets fill in their contact details on the stubs of the returned tickets, or stage a competition where contact details of entrants are needed.
Raffles are among the most popular and effective ways to, not only fundraise and build awareness of your group or cause, but to also expand the size of your contact list. Please check with the appropriate authorities in your state and territory to see if you need a Lotteries Permit Number. Requirements differ from state to state.
- Stage a give-away which people have to sign up and provide their details to receive. Again provide people with the opportunity NOT to receive information about your group.
- Organise a 'sign-up-a friend' drive among existing members and contacts.
Consider having an incentive program or special offer that rewards both the existing contact and the new contact.
- Ask people who enter your organisation's office or base if they want to be put on your mailing list.
- Ask people who contact you by phone or email if they want to go on your mailing list.
- Set up a stand or stall at a local event where people can sign up for a newsletter or further information from your group.
Make sure your stall stands out. Have copies of your newsletter or publication on hand and enough forms for people to fill out if they want to receive newsletters or information from your group.
- Make offers through your newsletter.
Possibly include a coupon or registration form for people to fill in and return.
- Distribute a questionnaire.
Keep your questionnaires short and to the point, and don't ask for information you will not need. Before sending your questionnaire out, test it out on colleagues and see what they think.
- Record details of everyone who RSVPs to attend a conference, seminar, function or other event your group stages.
- Add a button to your website - Receive our Newsletter!