The Raiser’s Edge 7 includes thousands of fields and can hold countless numbers of records. Updating and
maintaining these records can be a daunting task. The Import functionality can make this chore a little less
intimidating. With Import, you can combine databases, import information from spreadsheets and word
processing programs, update existing records, and even create an import file to use in outside applications.
However, because The Raiser’s Edge is a large program, offering so many different fields, running an import can
at times be an involved procedure. You must know all the Raiser’s Edge fields you want to include in the process;
you must also know all fields required by the program to run the procedure; and you must understand that even
if you learn all the fields required to run a specific type of import, the required fields are most likely different
when you run a different type of import.
For example, to import a list of new individual Constituents, use the Constituent Import Type, and the Key
Indicator and Last Name are required. However, to import a list of new addresses for existing constituents, use
the Constituent Address Import Type, and you must include one of the following fields: Constituent ID,
Constituent Import ID, or SSN. The field is used to identify the constituent to which each address belongs.
This tutorial attempts to take some of the guess work out of the importing process. In it are a number of the most
common importing procedures. You learn how to create a gift and constituent import file in The Raiser’s Edge,
open these files in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, change the information, and import the updated data back into
The Raiser’s Edge. You also learn how to create an import file in Excel and then import the Excel data into The
Most of the information included in this guide is specific to the tutorial procedures. For an overview of the
importing process; explanations of all import fields, checkboxes, and options; and a list of the import layout
tables, see the Import Guide.
Import File Layout Rules
Before importing data into your database, you must fully understand how the importing process works, how it
moves your data, and what determines where the program stores the new information. If done correctly,
importing records into TheRaiser’s Edge is an easy, time-saving task. If done incorrectly, it may require a good
deal of your time to clean up your database, running queries to ensure the information is where it is supposed to
be, and even running global changes. We strongly recommend you acquire a full understanding of the importing
process before proceeding with the import.
This section describes the general Import file layout rules, helping you better understand the overall process.
Import Formatting Guidelines
• If you are not using a separate header file and on the File Layout tab of the import parameter screen you select
Field names will be on the first line of the import file, the first line in an import file is the header line or row
containing the Import Name of the fields included in the file. The remaining lines contain data records, one line
per record. So, in a Constituent import, each constituent is given their own line; in a Gift import each gift is
given its own line; in a Constituent Phone import each phone number is given its own line.
Note: For a complete list of required fields, see the Import Tables chapter in the Import Guide.
Note: We recommend you save your imports with detailed descriptions. This makes locating and identifying
imports you want to reuse easier. For example, consider entering how the import was used or a summary of
the fields you selected.
For instance, in the Microsoft Excel example below, line 1 represents the import header line. This line contains
the names of the import data fields. The actual data starts on line 2.
• If you choose the delimited import format on the General tab, the format of your import file must follow some
specific rules, without which importing is impossible.
• You must define a format for your imported data. This means, if you are using a word processor, you must use
text qualifiers and field separators when entering your data.
• The first line of the import file should be the header, which gives the names of the fields in the file. You can
select to use data with the header record in a separate file. Or, if you have no field names anywhere, you can
map the fields directly to The Raiser’s Edge fields into which you want them imported.
• Each record in the import file must have a Carriage Return-Line Feed (CR-LF) at the end
• Remember, when creating your import file in an outside application, such as Excel, the fields you can include in
the import file are limited, based on the type of import you run. For example, if you want to import constituent
information such as name, preferred address, and telephone number, you can enter all of this information in
one import file and import the information using the Constituent import category. However, if you also want to
import participant information for a constituent, such as name tag information and travel arrangements, you
must enter this information in a separate import file. The participant information can be imported using only
the Participant import category.
• The program uses the IDs you define in the import to search for duplicates, update information, and link
When creating records through Import, you have the option of specifying an Import ID for the new record or
letting the program create the ID. If you want to specify your own Import ID for record you create through
Import, remember the following:
• Within a particular record type, all Import IDs must be unique. For example, all Constituent Import IDs must
be unique, all Constituent Address Import IDs must be unique, etc.
• An ID can contain up to 20 characters
• When using Import to update records in The Raiser’s Edge, the program needs to know which records you
want to update.
To specify in your import file which constituents you are updating, you can use the constituent’s Social Security
Number, Constituent ID, or Import ID to identify the record.
• In imports where you do not have to identify the constituent being modified, you need to specify the Import ID
of the record you are attempting to update.
Note: If you use constituent Social Security Numbers as an identifier when importing records, you must
include the dashes when entering the number in your import file.
Note: Campaigns, funds, appeals, and events are exceptions to this rule. When updating these record types,
you identify the records you want to update using the Campaign ID, Fund ID, Appeal ID, or Event ID.
For example, in a Constituent Address import, you must include a reference to the Constituent (Constituent ID,
Constit Import ID, or SSN) in order to add or update information (add a new address or update an existing one).
There are, however imports where information related to constituents change, but the constituent record
does not need to be identified. For example, in a Constituent Phone import, to add or modify a phone number,
you only need to reference an address import ID, because the address is inherently tied to a constituent.
• If you do not include the Import IDs when you create the import file through Import, you can add them later.
Using the Create Import File option on the General tab of the import parameter file, you can export the
Import IDs for the records you are trying to update.
• If in the Attributes link of Configuration the Allow only one per Record checkbox is checked for an attribute
and the attribute is already present on the constituent record, the program generates an exception
• If in the Attributes link of Configuration the Required checkbox is checked for an attribute, the program
generates exceptions for all records that do not include the attribute
• Import fields may be imported in any order. We recommend grouping related fields.
• CR-LF is not allowed within a field, only at the end of a record
• CR-LF in memo fields (for example, notepad) is represented by /n
• Unmapped fields and fields containing no data are ignored. To clear a field’s contents in the program, enter a
caret (^) character [Shift + 6] in the field.
• Import fields for multiple records of the same type must have a two-digit extension number at the end.
Extension numbers start with 00 and can go up to 99. For example, if you want to import home phone number
and mobile phone number from constituent records, you must identify the home phone number
(PhoneNum00) and the cellular phone number (PhoneNum01).
• When importing multiple “child” records of the same type for a single “parent” record, the import fields that
relate to the child records must have a two-digit extension number at the end. Extension numbers start with 00
and can go up to 99. For example, if you want to import a home address and business address (two child
records) for a single constituent (one parent record) on one line of a Constituent import, you must select some
address fields twice, such as City and State. For the program to know which City goes with which State, it will
look at the extension numbers. It will know that AddrCity00 goes with AddrState00, and AddrCity01 goes with
• Most record types making up the constituent record can be imported with a constituent import file or as their
own import type. For example, you can import constituent codes with a Constituent import type or a
Constituent Code import type.
• When importing both individuals and organizations using the Constituent import file, each record is specific to
either an individual or an organization. The program ignores fields specific to organizations for individual
records and ignores fields specific to individuals for organization records.
• When importing gift records, remember the following:
• Matching gifts do not automatically import with gift records. You can, however, import matching gifts
• If you import a gift with a campaign or appeal but do not specify a fund, the gift appears as an exception. The
fund is a required field.
• Benefit information does not default in the program with the gift information imported. You must include the
benefit information in the import file if you want it to import.
• Receipt amounts do not default in the program with the gift information imported
• The program does not soft credit relationship records when importing gifts to a constituent record. However,
you can import soft credit information specifically.
• If you import a gift along with an appeal or solicitor and the appeal or solicitor do not already exist in the
constituent record, neither is automatically added to the record. They are, however, imported onto the gift.
• For gift import files, all installments must be in the same file as the pledge. Amounts must equal the total of the
pledge. You can have the program automatically add instalments for new pledges.
• If you import a pledge, and you want the program to create installments, you must define the installment
schedule in the import file and check the Automatically add installments for new pledges checkbox on the
General tab of the import parameter file.
• Punctuation characters and spaces are important for data contained in lookup tables. For example, the title
table contains “Mr.”, but your import file mistakenly has “MR” entered for one title. If you marked the Create
new table entries checkbox on the General tab of the import parameter file, the program adds “MR” to the
table, and you now have two table entries for the same title — the correct title “Mr.” and the incorrect title
• In most lookup tables, you can add table entries while importing if on the General tab in Import, you marked
the Create new table entries checkbox.
• You cannot add new addressee/salutations to the Addressee/Salutations table in Configuration through Import
• Use the Add/Sal ID number to import Addressee/Salutations for individuals and organizations. You can get a list
of these numbers in Configuration. Select Addresses/Salutations. From the menu bar, select File, Print,
• You can have up to 10 digits before the decimal point and two digits after (xxxxxxxxxx.yy)
• The currency symbol ($) is not required
• The decimal point and digits after it are required only for uneven dollar units. For example, you can enter two
hundred dollars as 200, but you must format twenty-five dollars and fifty cents as 25.50.
• Defaults established in the program do not carry over to imported data
• If you update an address linked to more than one constituent record, the address is updated in all linked records
• In order for the program to recognize separate address lines, (city, ZIP code), you must enter a /n at the end of
the line in the file
• All imported addresses are formatted based on the address format established through the International link
on the Configuration page. If no country is specified in the import file, the address is formatted based on the
address format entered through the General link on the Configuration page.
• You can reciprocate relationships when importing if you mark the Automatically reciprocate relationships
checkbox on the General tab of the import parameter file.
A constituent import adds information to existing constituent records in your database or creates new
constituent records. For example, you can import information from a mailing list or a list of prospects into your
database. To limit the number of fields available for the import, you can select specific constituent import types,
such as Constituent Address or Individual Relationships. To view a list of fields available for each import type, see
the Import Tables chapter of the Import Guide.
The following two procedures show you how to work with a constituent address import. The first procedure takes
you step-by-step through generating a constituent address import file in The Raiser’s Edge. You can then use the
file to update your data, sending the file to an outside firm or entering changes using a spreadsheet or word
processing program. The second procedure shows you how to import the updated constituent address import file
back into The Raiser’s Edge. You can also create an import file using an outside application, such as Excel or
Microsoft Word. For instructions on creating an import file, using Excel, see “Relationships and Addresses in
Excel” on page26.
Note: For more information about working on the Configuration page, see the Configuration chapter of the
Configuration & Security Guide.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested