June 2011 Tips and Tricks

  1. DataMiner Gold or Platinum?
  2. Excel Import Best Practices
  3. Excel Import Training Rescheduled
  4. Not Using DonorSnap Yet?

DataMiner Gold or Platinum?

Do you ever question which of our query tools to use? Check out our quick video that explains the difference and when you should use one, but not the other.

Watch DataMiner Gold vs. DataMiner Platinum

Excel Import Best Practices

1. DS Field and User Defined Field Hint– every field in DS is a column header in excel and if the field doesn’t exist you will not be able to import it.  If importing a user defined field, you have to create the user defined field on your DS site setup page first.  If you are importing to a drop down field, you do not need to create every answer choice in DS before importing; they will be automatically created during the import.  Same with the DS field themselves; you do not need to create the drop down choices in DS.    **NOTE – pay attention when reviewing the import that you accidently didn’t create a new drop down with a slightly different spelling.  DS will not create a new drop down if it already exists, but it needs to be an exact match within DS.

2. Think of an import this way– just like when you are using your DS, you cannot add a donation, interaction or note etc. unless a contact exists, so it is the same with importing.  You have to first import the contact to create an actual record and then bring in the donations etc. afterwards.

3. Stay consistent with your names– how do you track your contacts? We recommend to stay consistent for data integrity. When you create mail merges, all of your names should look the same.  There is no right or wrong way, but you may want to keep it consistent.

Example 1:
First Name: Jennifer & Jim
Last Name: Aabetz

Example 2:
First Name: Jennifer
Last Name: Aabetz
First Name (2): Jim
Last Name (2): Aaebtz

4. Name Resolution – To go along with number 3, Do you turn “on” the Name Resolution Override”?  If not, don’t worry about it and do not import these fields, they will automatically format just like when adding a new contact.  If you do change specific fields, you can import all or just one of the fields as necessary.  The field that you don’t import will be automatically formatted based on how your DS is set up.

5. Contact Type – We highly recommend that you import contact types for all of your new contacts.  BUT – don’t worry if you forget and discover it later on, you can always use the “Update Contact Information” to bring them in at a later date. 

6. When using Excel Import to Update Contacts – always put your matching key field (Contact IPK, Import Key, Email or other matching field you will be using) in column 1. It may not import properly if it is in any of the other columns.

7. Update Tool Overwrites whatever is in DS – yes, the update tool is quite handy; however, remember it OVERWRITES whatever you have in DS for the field that you are updating, so only bring in what you want to change.  If you are updating a multiple select user defined field, it does NOT add to the field; it will overwrite whatever currently exists in the field.

8. Turn Filter Tool On in Excel – In your excel spreadsheet turn your filter tool on to see if you have garbage cells to the right of your data which might put you over the 100 column limit.  They may look blank but at times, Excel tells us there is data in those cells.  Excel will only give the filter icon to every column it thinks there is data.  You need to “clear contents” of those columns you don’t want imported.

9. Acknowledgement Letter with Mail Merge System and User Defined Fields– If you use the acknowledgement letter tool located under Processing/Acknowledgement Word Document and you want user defined fields to show up in your letter, whether pulling from the contact screen or donation tab, you cannot have a space in the field.  This is a mail merge limitation that has nothing to do with DS. When generating your letter, the field won’t be recognized because mail merge puts a “_” wherever there is a space.

Excel Import Training Rescheduled

Many organizations have not had the time to fully explore the Excel Import Tool. We are here to help bridge that gap. Sign up today for a training webinar on how to effectively use Excel Import to save time and energy in your database management. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The webinar will contain 20-30 minutes of content followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. It will be limited to 15 attendees, but will be recorded for anyone who is unable to attend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 10:00 CDT
Excel Import - Import your data on a mass basis.

  • Use DataMiner Platinum in combination with Excel Import
  • Learn the importance of an import key
  • Add new donations using the Contact IPK
  • Update existing contact information

Reserve Your Spot Now

Sign up by emailing Kim at with the following:
  • Name
  • Organization
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Which webinar you are signing up for

Not Using DonorSnap Yet?

Sign up for one of our free webinar demonstrations to see the software in action.
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