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

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