In This Article:

    National Change of Address (NCOA)

    In This Article:

      In 2015, one company estimated undeliverable mail costs the US economy $65 billion a year.  National Change of Address (NCOA) service for US addresses can increase mail deliverability and keep you in compliance with US Postal Service (USPS) discounted postage regulations. NCOA verification also standardizes addresses to adhere to USPS standard formatting for bulk shipping. This process also reduces the volume of processing of this type of mail by the USPS.

      NCOA is an add-on service to Salsa CRM. The service will scan your database four times a year to check each US constituent’s primary address against the NCOA system. If the constituent has moved, the service updates their address. This service will also update addresses to meet the USPS’s coding standards so that you can receive discounted postage.

      Once enabled, you’ll be able to view scheduled NCOA runs and results for past runs. You’ll also be able to download a report to use at the post office for discounted postage. To learn more about enabling this feature, complete the contact form and we will be in touch shortly.

      Salsa integrates with our partner, MelissaDATA, who is licensed to deliver data maintained by the USPS, using a secure, automated integration to check your address data against that national database, updating records where appropriate.

      NCOA Workflow

      Upon a successful NCOA update, this service...

      • Updates primary US addresses of constituents who have filed a change-of-address with the US Postal Service (USPS).
      • Verifies the general deliverability of the constituent's primary address (not whether the constituent actually lives there). This process determines whether the constituent has a valid address from the USPS perspective. In essence, it determines whether a postal carrier could walk up to the address and deliver mail. 
      • Standardizes the constituent addresses so that Street, Lane, Road, etc., are standardized according to USPS regulations to ST, LN, RD, etc.
      • Provides reports summarizing processed addresses and a Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS™) Summary Report to use at the post office to get your bulk rate discount. 


      All constituents in Salsa CRM with a Primary address in the United States are processed. Addresses that are not tagged with the Primary address value are not included. This service does not update addresses of supporters that are only in Salsa Engage.

      NCOA Fields

      These service updates validate the verifiability of the address, the deliverability of the address, and the likelihood it can be found in the USPS system. Using that information, we create a metric labeled Status, which describes whether the address is considered Good, Bad, or Unknown:

      • GoodEither new or verified addresses...
        • New Address—Constituent address was found in the National Change of Address database. New address was added and made primary. Status has been set to "Good". Previous address is marked as non-primary, and Status has been set to "Bad".
        • Verified Addresses—Constituent address was not listed as having moved in the National Change of Address database. It is considered current and deliverable. Status was set to "Good" and the address was re-formatted according to USPS standards.
      • Bad—Constituent address could not be verified as valid and deliverable by the USPS, or...
      • Bad: Moved—Constituent address was found to have been replaced by a Move order on file with the USPS to a new, Good, Primary address. This record is then the previous address before the move. Record will indicate "Bad: Moved Addresses. Verified [Date, Time]".
      • Unknown—Constituent address was assigned a code by NCOA data vendor that was not recognized by Salsa. These addresses should be reviewed individually. In most cases, these addresses are undeliverable.

      After an NCOA update, certain fields in a constituent address will be updated as noted below. The screen capture above shows the NCOA fields that you can find while editing a constituent's address.

      • NCOA Vendor will always be Melissa Data.
      • Status will be Good, Bad, or Unknown and will show the last date for which the address was processed.
      • Move Date is the date that the Constituent moved to this address as provided by the NCOA database
      • Carrier Route is a neighborhood code that aids in mail delivery efficiency.
      • DPC (Delivery Point Code) is a two-digit number from 00-99 which, when appended to the ZIP+4, creates a unique 11-digit code for every residence in the US.
      • NCOA Status Details are the update codes provided by Melissa Data when this address was last processed by Melissa Data. The combination of codes listed here determines whether the address is Good, Bad, or Unknown.

      Move Scenarios

      Scenario Results
      Constituent address is not found in the NCOA system... The Constituent's address is still standardized and the Status field will be marked Good or Bad depending on whether the service could fix the address.
      Constituent address is found in the NCOA system and a move order on file with USPS...

      Primary address will be made non-primary and the Status field will be updated to Bad: Moved. The new address will be made primary and, depending on whether the new address is active, the Status field will be updated to Good. 

      Constituent address is found in the NCOA system, but no move order is found... Constituent's address will remain as primary, but the Status field will be updated to Bad.



      NCOA processing runs once every three months, or quarterly during the calendar year. These updates begin processing on the scheduled date at 4 AM in the time zone set on the CRM database. Addresses that are new or changed between runs will be updated on the next scheduled run.

      Salsa's staff will work with you set the schedule. In addition, one-time runs can be added as desired to the quarterly service. If you've already opted in to the service and want to request an additional one-time NCOA update, please contact your client success manager or email Salsa Support.

      Contact Emails

      Contact emails define who in your organization needs to be updated when the process is complete.

      To add or update contact emails...

      1. Click the Tools > National Change of Address menu.
      2. On the Schedule tab, click the pencilpencil_icon.pngicon in the Contact Emails section in the lower left portion of the screen.
      3. Enter email addresses to receive notifications about this NCOA process.
        • Click the addEmailButton.png icon to add multiple email addresses. A valid email must be entered in order to add another email.
        • To remove multiple email slots, click the removeEmailButton.png icon for those fields. The field must be blank to remove an email slot.
      4. Save your email adjustments.

      NOTE: You will not see this section if the NCOA process has not been activated by a Salsa representative.

      NCOA History

      The History tab contains all of the NCOA updates for your organization. To access your NCOA history...

      1. Click the Tools > National Change of Address menu.
      2. Click on the History tab.


      The table contains information on the...

      • Internal ID of the validation session.
      • Date and time the update was performed.
      • Name of any file used for update.
      • Date the file was imported.
      • Number of records updated.
      • Current status of that update.

      You can evaluate what was changed in any NCOA update by double-clicking on any record in the table. This opens the NCOA Update Details screen.

      NOTE: If you have previously used Salsa's NCOA update service (provided by Salsa Staff prior to April 2020), entries for those updates will also be listed here.

      NCOA Update Details

      The NCOA Update Details screen illustrates what happened as part of the update. At the top of the screen, you can find...

      • The unique ID of this update.
      • Run Time represents the exact timestamp this update made any changes to your system.
      • NCOA Vendor
      • Total Addresses Processed


      Find Changes with Advanced Query

      There are 6 NCOA-related built-in queries in the Advanced Query Wizard that help you to find details about your updates. In the Advanced Query Wizard, the NCOA Verified? field in the Addresses table is synonymous with the Status field on the Address record.

      • NCOA Bad Addresses All—Includes all constituents and their primary address, where the primary address is NCOA verified as Bad.
      • NCOA Bad Addresses Donors—Includes all constituents and their primary address, where the primary address is NCOA verified as Bad and their Total Gift Amounts is greater than 0.
      • NCOA Good Addresses—Includes all constituents and their primary address, where the primary address is NCOA verified as Good.
      • NCOA Previous Addresses—Includes all constituents and their non-primary address, where the address is NCOA verified as Bad. These constituents had an address record replaced with a Good move address.
      • NCOA Results Summary—Includes a simple count of all NCOA Verified records (G=Good, B=Bad, U=Unknown) for primary addresses.
      • NCOA Export—Recreates addresses that would be exported for an NCOA update. Does not include seasonal addresses that are not currently active.

        PRO TIP:
         To see the records in your last update, edit this query to include an output field for NCOA Verified? and a filter on Last NCOA Update.

      Use the Query Wizard to build your own queries. For example...

      • Add the field NCOA Verified? to your Output fields to see the values.
      • Add the NCOA Verified? and Last NCOA Update fields in your Filters to find only Good records and those records in the last update.
      • Sort on NCOA Verified? to group all the Good, Bad, and Unknown records together.

      NCOA Reports

      1. Click the Tools > National Change of Address menu.
      2. Click on the History tab.
      3. Click on the date of the update you wish to see.

      There are three buttons at the bottom of the NCOA Update Details screen. Download CASS Report and Download NCOA Report export and download reports specific to your NCOA update. The third button is a Service Log to view or hide.


      CASS™ Report

      The CASS™ Summary Report verifies that your data has been coded using CASS-certified software, which is a requirement for claiming many discounted postage rates. Present this form at the post office to verify your NCOA validation and to get your bulk rate mail discount. Print this report using your browser's native Print function.


      Summary Report

      The summary report comes directly from our software partner. This summary report details exactly what bulk data was electronically submitted to them on your behalf for processing. Print this report using your browser's native Print function.


      NCOA Update Log

      For each run of the NCOA update service, a log is stored on the NCOA Update Details page. You can review this log to see when the NCOA update started, how long the process took and how many total addresses were included


      Updates to Engage for Engage Synced Records

      Whether constituents have a new address due to a move or their existing address is standardized and reformatted, NCOA updates are pushed to the matching Salsa Engage supporter record once the update is completed. Constituents that are not synced to Engage prior to the NCOA process will not be made to sync.

      Political District Append for Engage Synced Records

      Updated addresses sent to Engage as a result of NCOA are processed by Engage's integration with Smarty Streets, which includes adding or updating political districts to the address record. Updated political districts sync to CRM and are added to the address record. These address updates do not add entries to the Constituent Update Queue. Constituents that are not synced to Engage will not be updated; the political district append only applies to Engage-synced records.
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