FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Transitioning from FundRaiser Basic to Spark: Donor Codes


FundRaiser Basic offers three codes for donor records: a category code, a source code, and newsletter preferences. These three codes provide an excellent foundation for transitioning into FundRaiser Spark or even Select or Professional. Let’s look at each of the codes.

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My Experience: Moving from FundRaiser Basic to Spark


After 5 years of using FundRaiser Basic, the organization I volunteer for decided to move to FundRaiser Spark. The 5 years we've been using Basic have been good to us, and Basic has played a significant role in that. The organization has stabilized donations at the level needed for our operations, and increased fundraising to create 'a little extra' each year. In a kind of feedback loop between success with fundraising and growing confidence, we've also been willing to try new things and expand our impact. Although quite happy with what we've been able to do with Basic, the time seemed right to give ourselves more power in our donor management software and to explore having a greater impact in our community. 

The move from Basic to Spark has been enjoyable and interesting. I've learned two basic things--

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Importing from Spreadsheets to FundRaiser

Many non-profits began their data management using spreadsheets.  Yours may still use them, but there are many reasons to move away from them and into donor management software, as you may be aware.  In fact, here are a couple of articles that some folks have referenced in telling us why they no longer want to use spreadsheets:  
One of the big stumbling blocks to converting to a better system is the old argument: “We would have to re-enter all the information, and no one has time to do that!”  Well, in FundRaiser (even in FundRaiser Basic) there is a file option that allows you to import from other file formats.  Here are some tips and tricks on how to do set up your spreadsheet for optimal importing:  
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4 ways to evaluate how easily your data will move from one donor management program to a new one

How easily will your data move from one donor management program to another?

Part 2 How easy will moving my data be? In part 1 last week, we talked about the reasons you might need to move your data. Now, you probably want to know how easy that move might be. The answer may decide whether you do the work yourself, or decide to go with professional data conversion.

Moving data from one program to another may be amazingly simple or extremely complex. If you are considering such a move, the answers to the following 4 questions will reveal to you just what the case will be for your organization and data situation:

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How your nonprofit can plan a successful data migration from one donor management program to another

Thinking ahead to the need for moving data can create a smooth conversion process
Part 1  Why move data?

In a survey of FundRaiser users, 50 percent of respondents have moved data from one donor-management software program to another. Of that 50 percent, most have moved data more than once.

The most common reasons for moving data are:

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When your spreadsheets aren't enough: import options in FundRaiser donor management software

Many non-profits began their data management using spreadsheets.  Yours may still use them, but there are many reasons to move away from them and into donor management software, as you may be aware.  If you're having trouble convincing others of this, you may want to use one or the other of these linked articles as good examples.

Why NOT convert?

One of the big stumbling blocks to converting to a better system seems to be the old argument of "we would have to re-enter all that information, and no one has time to do that!".  Well, in FundRaiser there is a file menu option that allows you to import from other file formats.  Here are some quick tips and tricks on how to do that efficiently and successfully:

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What does a data converter do?

Joe Salrin at his desk in the FundRaiser office

Working mostly from his corner desk by the windows, Joe Salrin quietly fields many data emergencies for both FundRaiser customers and staff. His primary job is data conversion – moving data out of other brands of software and into FundRaiser for new customers. He is also the ‘go-to’ person for difficult, quirky, or just plain obstinate problems that involve technology and data at our office.

I asked him to tell me what he does in a normal day, and he laughed. “There is no normal day,” he answered. “Normal is whatever happens.

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Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
training tip donor attrition animal rescue spreadsheets data analysis government grants community arts nonprofits mission driven Importing Data Excel gift notes field major gift prospects training correspondance operational costs backing up data email passwords appeal membership programs charity golf tournaments Cloud online donations tech tip follow up customer service corporate sponsors look and feel foundations add ons how-to videos upgrading donors relationship tracking brick campaign GivingTuesday motivation legacy giving importing csv ticket sales Volunteer module donor recognition mode code Facebook campaign salutation FundRaiser Spark Resiliency data conversion in honor of donations overview holiday letters phoning donors targeted mailings donor retention support Facebook texting donors donor attrition rate moves management accounting software donor preferences Network for Good banquet campaign premiums on site training understanding giving trends gift entry personalizing letters adding personal notes to letters operating systems Task List nonprofit fundraising major donors the Ask letter templates donor source tax summary letters donor profile online donations donor loyalty happiness spare fields password protection budget flash sales security annual campaign thank you letters Constant Contact community supported gardens general NCOA processing alumni announcements entering auction gifts volunteers planned giving donor contact information donor relations GoFundMe project Congratulations lapsed donor case study advanced tab large donations communications vacation custom page upgrade raffle Thanksgiving donor retention rate Groupings capital campaign tribute gifts word processor new features correspondence holiday fundraising letters new version data entry merge notes Tickles transparency giving levels Personalizing change of address updating development director National Change of Address memorial giving membership benefits appeal letters building donor relationships auction new nonprofit giving history how to handle auction gifts donor advised funds Snow Birds pledges annual maintenance plan event management Codes community broadcasting Alternative Addresses customer portal prospects new leadership endowment campaign ticketsales holiday giving End of Year Letters donor slip pictures LYBUNTS disaster relief mailing anonymous donors volunteering welcome packet user spotlights arts campaign management donor targeting role of nonprofits technical support donor engagement letter user interface SYBUNTS solicitors monthly giving Reminders Company culture Crowdfunding Campaign FundRaiser Basic merge fields reports Donor Portal increasing giving amounts motivation code features donor prospects planning ROI product news office publicity materials recurring gifts small donations Thank You FundRaiser Hosted Reporting to IRS New Year donation history grants #GivingTuesday segmenting donors membersip benefits social media In-Kind gifts fundraising new donors PayPal direct mail grassroots campaign donor updates repeat donors board members gift acceptance policy

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