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

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