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

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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

BasicSpark

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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