NPSP Data Import Stories

NPSP Data Import Stories

The NPSP Data Import Tool is a relatively new thing. I believe it was provided to give assistance to organizations who were switching to NPSP from legacy systems. Creating all the records in the proper order and with the proper linkage between contacts, households, org accounts, affiliations, donations, payments and so on can be daunting. And NPSP Data Import Tool makes that easy. It’s the tool of choice or migrating data into NPSP!

However, as I tried to help others use the tool, I realized that there is more to the story than simply importing data. Let me explain.

Quick Overview of NPSP Data Import Tool

Each line in your spreadsheet will be imported into a record called a NPSP Data Import record and will then be analyzed by the NPSP Data Import Tool and mapped onto one or more related records, some new and some matched from existing records. This is a complex but powerful idea.

The NPSP Data Import record is a flat representation of a bunch of information. But once it is processed, you can follow links to individual two contacts, one household, one organization, one affiliation, one campaign, one donation, and one payment. And you can tell if the processing succeeded, created new records, matched old records, or failed. If it failed, you can edit the flat data right inside Salesforce and try again.

Stores are at the heart of

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The Humble Volunteer Hour Data Structure

How I have used Volunteers for Salesforce in many unexpected ways

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Dealing with Limited Client Information

We often actually have anonymous donors and in-kind givers. We associate such actions with a contact with the first name “Anonymous” and the last name @Organization, where Organization is whatever affiliation they have or whenever location the action occurred.

We extended this idea of “fuzzy” information to our clients. We only know nicknames frequency. But the nicknames collide so we also ask a positive interest or passion. As we learn legal names and birth information, we record it and update it.

We had to implement a few fields and workflows to make his possible. You can read more about the solution here (You’ll have to request document access… I’ll move key features to this document if there is enough demand).

Automatic Email and Phone Preferences for NPSP

Three workflow rules that infer the value of the NPSP picklist called preferred email and set it. Saves time when moving or deleting email fields.

The NPSP is awesome in that it allows us to have cell phone, home phones, and office phones and emails for our contacts since it’s a B2C type of service. I like that. However, I disliked getting a warning when I saved contacts indicating that I had forgotten to set the preferred email or preferred phone. The worst is when I move the only email address from work to personal (or vice versa) and get a validation error that the preferred email is blank. So I decided to improve the intelligence.