List Exchange for Nonprofits (487 words)
Monitor performance. Exchanged names behave differently than rented names because most often they are of a higher quality and more recently active, observes Guellich, who says that as such the response rate should be somewhat higher for exchanged names than those from rented lists. (Tip: Code them differently, so when you review reports you know if a list is rented or exchanged. You may even cluster them differently.) On the flip side, because you are most likely exchanging only $10 to $49 donors and not higher, the average gift may be somewhat lower than that of rented lists, which do not ordinarily result in donors giving more than $50.
Make sure the file itself is solid. Before you consider exchanging names, your file should be a few years old and your donors pretty committed to your organization.
Always seed the file, never exchange your brand new donors and live by the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—meaning update your file two to four times a year.