Directory Project FAQ

I received an email/postcard/phone call from a company asking for my personal information and said they were working with The Planetary Society. Is this a legitimate project?

It’s legit! We have partnered with PCI (also known as Publishing Concepts) to receive important updates to our database so we can better serve our members, and produce our new member directory.

Here is what the email and post cards look like. The phone number to call may differ between the card and email, or between different cards or emails, but they will all connect you to PCI.

Directory post cards and email example

What is the project goal?

The Planetary Society is meeting two important needs at the same time. First, we rely on accurate data for everything, and data needs to be maintained and confirmed regularly. There are many ways to accomplish this, but all require more time and money than we initially think.

At the same time, many members like having a directory to be able to see who else belongs to the Society, optionally share their stories and pictures, and read special content about the mission and history of the Society. And many members also like to own Planetary-branded merchandise.

This project achieves both goals at no cost to the Society. In fact, PCI shares revenue profits with us from sales of the directory and swag to members who choose to purchase them.

We'd never be able to conduct a project like this without the support of our members and the partnership with PCI. We sincerely thank everyone who participates and chooses to make a purchase.

Who can participate?

Members with home addresses in the United States can participate. Unfortunately, the administrative hurdles of including international members were prohibitive.

Why does PCI have my data? Did The Planetary Society share or sell it to them?

PCI has limited access to member contact information so that it can assist the Society with properly formatting correspondence to be sent to you. They work for us under contract and function only as a means to send out mail for this project (postcards only; email is sent through our own email system). This is similar to how we send our appeals, some renewal notices, new membership cards, and even most of your t-shirts.

We do not sell your data to any partners, nor do we allow partners to sell or provide the data to anyone else. They are not allowed to use the data for any other purpose at any time now or in the future other than the project they are completing for us under contract. And when the project is done, they return the data files to us and destroy any backups.

In the past, we have shared our data with other non-profit organizations through a collaborative list-sharing program. While this is still a common strategy taken by many organizations, we no longer participate in these programs.

How do I know my information will only be used for the purpose of the directory?

The names, addresses and information provided to PCI for the publication will be held confidential by PCI, except to the extent that they are utilized in, or in the preparation of, the publication and except as required by court order or law. The publication will be made available only to members. Upon completion of the project, PCI will return any and all electronic files that have been supplied or produced by PCI in connection with the production of the Publication.

You can check out their privacy policy here and our privacy policy here.

I’m already receiving emails and mailings from the Society. Why would I need to verify it?

That’s terrific! But we don’t know until something goes wrong, and that’s costly. For example, even with the software and services we use (such as the NCOA update), every month we receive approximately 200--300 issues of The Planetary Report returned as “undeliverable” by the post office. Here’s what that means:

  • The postage we already paid is not refunded.

  • The USPS charges us to return it back to us

  • We then add more postage to re-send at first-class rates

  • We have to spend valuable staff hours trying to get updated address information, and

  • Doing the labor to re-package and mail the magazines back out again one by one,

  • This whole process is more expensive than the initial mailing done in bulk by our fulfillment house.

So everyone verifying their contact info periodically will help us spend more of your donations on space and less on administration.

I would like to verify or update my information. How may I do this?

  • If you received a postcard or an email with a telephone number, you may call the number to speak with a person representing The Planetary Society project. They will verify the information we have on file for you and make any updates where needed.

  • If you received an email with an embedded link, simply click the link to go to the online site to review your information.

  • If you did not receive a postcard or email, you may call the dedicated The Planetary Society update line at 1-877-582-2848.

How does The Planetary Society benefit from this?

Cost savings: Maintaining member’s contact data can be expensive and time consuming; PCI helps do this for us at no cost.

Funding: PCI shares a portion of the revenue from the directory and swag sales. In fact, the more they sell, the more we earn back. See “What is the project goal?” above for more about how it works.

Spreading the word: Wearing the apparel or carrying the sports bag shows your support and love for our organization, and your commitment to space science and exploration. Like our t-shirts, they help you let other people know we exist!

Am I obligated to purchase a copy of the directory to have my name included?

No, you are under no obligation to purchase anything and there is no cost to be listed in the directory.

The project is completely funded by the members who choose to purchase a directory or swag.

Will my name or any information be printed in the directory if I don’t participate?

No. Only those who choose to participate will be listed in the directory.

Can I choose what information prints in the directory?

Yes! When you call to update your information, you can tell PCI’s associate what information you’d like to exclude or include. You can also call their customer service helpdesk at (800) 982-1590 or email them at [email protected].

Even better, you can share your excitement about The Planetary Society - or about anything Space-related - by submitting a photo and/or telling us about your passion for Space or The Planetary Society!

Can anyone purchase a directory or swag?

No. The directory and items are only available for sale to Planetary Society members in the United States. Unfortunately, the administrative hurdles of including international members were prohibitive.

When will I receive my directory or swag?

The total duration of the directory project is about 12 months. Since we began the project in June 2021, the directories will be distributed in June 2022. Apparel items and sports bags will be shipped within a few weeks of placing your order.

For more specific information on your order, please contact PCI’s customer service helpdesk at (800) 982-1590.

How do I cancel or change my order?

Call PCI’s customer service at (800) 982-1590 and they will take care of this for you.

Can anyone purchase a directory or swag?

No. The directory and items are only available for sale to Planetary Society members in the United States. Unfortunately, the administrative hurdles of including international members were prohibitive.

If I'm not interested in the directory, how can I stop receiving information about it?

Members who don’t want any more contact about the directory can let us know:

  • Via email:
    • At the bottom of the email you received, click Unsubscribe and you’ll be given the option to remove your email from the directory project list.

    • Email [email protected] with "Directory: Do Not Contact" in the subject line, and your first and last name in the email body.

  • By phone:
    • Call PCI’s customer service at (800) 982-1590

Questions about the phone number on the postcard or in the email:

The number isn’t to The Planetary Society. Why?

As our partners in this project, PCI is handling the calls and data verification.The phone number connects you to their agents. They work with hundreds of other organizations each year, so the numbers get re-used.

The number on the card is different from the one in the email. Why, and which should I call?

PCI provides different numbers so they can track how many people respond to the card vs the email. If you got both, either is fine - they both go to the same place.

The phone numbers they send out are:

1-866-468-5545
1-866-653-5313
1-866-579-8691
1-866-530-7611

If you didn’t receive a card or email but would like to participate, please call 1-877-582-2848

Have a question or concern that wasn’t answered here? Please contact us at [email protected]lanetary.org if you still have any outstanding questions.