Cleaning up your file will 

  1. Speed up the process. Only sending over the fields you need in your new donor management system helps us get through your data faster. 

  2. Give you control on where you would like to see certain fields in donor  management. Setting this up in the spreadsheet will remove the confusion that can sometimes arise if you just send the file straight to us without cleaning up and organizing your data first. 

Review your columns to make sure you have all of the fields you want in donor management.

Open up the file to have a look at the different fields that you have chosen to bring out of your previous system. To do this, you'd want to review all of your column headers in Excel (headers are typically found in the 1st row of the file). You can quickly adjust the column headers so you can read them by using the formatting option to "AutoFit Column Width". 

Simply click Format > AutoFit Column Width to do this.

Once you've adjusted the column headers, you'll be able to easily read what is in each cell and ensure that you've captured all of the important fields from your previous database. Delete what you don't want us to import into your new system. 

Use your filters to check that required fields for import are present.

Next, you'll want to filter your columns to make sure that at the very least you have the required donor management fields. There are two sets of fields one set of fields pertains to your contact records and the other set of fields is for donation records.  

  • Contacts - First Name is the only required field for contacts, but we also recommend having at least an email or physical address to go along with it as you will want to be sure you're able to communicate with this contact using email blasts or direct mail. 

  • Donations - Date, Amount, and Payment Method are the three required fields that you need to include with every donation record. You would also have the contact information listed along with each donation, or if your previous database was ID based then an ID to link back to your contact file. Note: In the donation file, you typically have a repeat of your donor and their contact information listed multiple times throughout the file as donations are listed by row and one donor can have multiple donations. 

To filter these fields to make sure this required information is present, simply select the sheet that you're working in and click the Sort & Filter button > Filter. 

You can then go through and check for blanks in the required fields. For example, you should always check for blank first names like in the screenshot below:

We do have some suggestions for how to handle required fields that are blank, you can check out that article out here.

Remove unnecessary fields by deleting columns. 

As you're reviewing your columns, you may run across fields that you feel are no longer needed. You can help the import process by going ahead and deleting those fields from your file. 

Simply highlight the specific column, right-click (Windows) or two-finger click (Mac) and select Delete in the popup. 

If you accidentally delete a column you need, no worries! You can quickly bringing it back using the key command: Control + Z (Windows) or Command + Z (Mac). 

Remember, you only want to remove fields that you feel have no value. You can keep the fields you feel you need, and we'll make sure they will be included in your new Donor Management System. 

Rename your column headers to ensure they are clearly named to help with mapping the import.

Now that you've successfully reviewed your columns, you are ready to start renaming the columns to ensure that the information is imported to the correct field. 

An great example of this is the Campaign and Designation fields built into your new Donor Mannagement System. You may have these as Account and Class or Appeal and Fund in your old system. Renaming the field tell us where you'd like them to be imported.

Simply double click the cell with the column header and change the name.

If you want to review the available fields in donor management, simply check out our template here, or you can always go into your donor management and click Add Contact or Add Donation to see the available fields. 

Review your duplicate contacts before you submit.

Lastly, you may want to go through the process of reviewing your contacts for potential duplicates before you send us your file. We do our very best to limit duplicates during the import, but there is occasionally a list of Potential Duplicates after the initial import that you'll have to review. 

You can work on preventing duplicates now by checking your file. To do this, simply highlight the sheet you're working in and then click Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules > Duplicate Values. This will check all highlighted cells for duplicates so you can easily review them. 

If you only highlight the Last Name field, it will check for any duplicate last names in that field. 

Once you've highlighted the duplicates, you can then use your filters to filter by the color you chose to highlight in (typically red). 

You can then remove anyone that you feel should not be included. Remember, we also check for duplicates during the import process by matching: Full Name, Email, Physical Address, and Primary Phone. 

If you run into any questions during this process, be sure to reach out to us as we're here to help! Click the blue dot in the bottom corner to get in touch with us. 

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