Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some FAQ’s we have compiled for EasyREimport as well as some Excel Formulas and Tips we commonly use working with data
What is your matching criteria? PDF Attached
The matching algorithm begins with the Constituent Id. We did this as many of our clients wanted to add a column called Constituent Id to external spreadsheets and pre match some of their major donors. After that we use a combination of name and address fields that we have identified and perfected over the years. Occasionally a duplicate will sneak through but they can always be merged later.
As EasyREimport was originally built as a consultant tool to automate client imports we estimate that we have easily run 10,000,000 constituent records through this matching algorithm. We found it easier to get the records imported and then use the Raiser’s Edge Duplicate Constituent Management Tool to manage any possible duplicates. Here is a document describing duplicate management within the Raiser’s Edge:
(Download PDF) Reviewing and managing duplicate records
How do I create the Required Raiser’s Edge Export? PDF Attached
How do I manage possible duplicates? PDF Attached
Reviewing and managing duplicate records
EasyREimport relies on an algorithm to automatically find all duplicate records but occasionally duplicate records will be created. Be sure to review and merge possible duplicates with the Raiser’s Edge Duplicate Constituent Management tool in the Raiser’s Edge Admin module.
What if I have some unique business rules or other requirements?
EasyREimport will work right out of the gate for most users. However if you have some unique challenge or automation you would like to have solved programmatically we would be happy to offer some solutions. Our team has been working with the Raiser’s Edge since 1997 and has built and scoped out numerous Raiser’s Edge interfaces.
I am getting an error that my Fund (Campaign, Appeal) doesn’t exist?
Any of the Campaign, Fund, Appeal, Attributes etc… that you type into the EasyREimport mapping wizard must match exactly what you have in Raiser’s Edge. Just verify the spelling. You can always do a Find and Replace within your datafile to correct a mistake for all records.
Note: When adding campaigns, funds and appeal names to EasyREimport always use the ID. Campaign id, fund id and appeal id should always be used.
Why are you importing a number for Addressee and Salutations?
It is important to add a Primary Addressee and Primary Salutation to all of your new records. Because Raiser’s Edge creates these using a formula you simply need the number. If you open RE \ Config \ Tables \ Addressee and Salutations you can right click and choose to print a Code Tables Report that lists all of your Add\Sal Formulas. Or search Blackbaud’s Knowledgebase for detailed information.
I want to add a New Address for my existing records
A great feature of EasyREimport.com is that it returns your original data file appended with the constituent id and the import id of each record where it finds a match.
One client wanted to import new addresses so we went to the completed source file and removed a few columns leaving these:
Using the source file returned with the import id we added a column for AddrImpID, leaving it blank, as the system would assign this. We added AddrType, “Home” but check with what values you use in your database and use something specific. PrefAddr is an important field as adding a, “Y” makes this address import as the preferred address which shows up on the Bio 1 tab.
Remember when you go to Admin and Import this is an Constituent Address import. It is not an update as we are importing an entirely new address record which will be the preferred address.
To Update an existing address you need the Constituent ID and the Address Import ID as you are updating a specific address record on the constituent record. This could be useful if you had a number of address records in ALLCAPS and wanted to Export the required fields, change to proper case and then Update the address records using the import process.
What if we have an import we can’t handle will you import it for us? Do you also offer any custom programming?
We would be glad to import data for you. But hopefully you can save time and resources using EasyREimport. If you need some custom code created for some automation we have developed a number of bi-directional and one direction sync tools. We would be happy to help scope out and bid on any custom solution you are looking for.
What is the best place to find sample import file formats
Blackbaud’s Knowledgebase is a great source for sample import files and required field descriptions. If you are importing a new field it’s great to download and view some sample files. Try importing just one row as a test.
Will this work for Individual and Organization records?
Currently the matching algorithm supports matching Individual records only. There are so many different variations of Organization and contact records, plus the datafiles we work with are almost always comprised of Individual records
My final third file doesn’t have the Constituent Id’s for the new records?
This is correct, we want to let the Raiser’s Edge assign the constituent id’s.
Remember that you can import any field using the Constituent Import Id that is returned to your source data file. But, if you would like the constituent id’s simply import the New Constituent file, rerun the Export and run the EasyREimport process again.
Why is everything a .CSV file?
Raiser’s Edge requires .CSV (Comma Separated Files) So when you receive Excel files simply save them as .CSV.
Because most Excel files start out with 3 sheets, at least ours do, a good way to think about saving an Excel file as a .CSV is that it will only save 1 sheet. That way the Raiser’s Edge knows where to look for the data.
What is a Static value in the mapping wizard?
Sometimes you need to add a single value to a column to be included in your import file. A good example is phone type. Every phone number, emails as well, need to have a corresponding, “Phone Type” the static value helps enter this.
Note: Remember if you type something in as a static value it much match what is in your database. For example if you want to add a static value of the constituent code, “Online Donor” and you only type in, “Online” you will receive import exceptions stating that value, “Online” does not exist.
Review the screen images of the entire wizard on the Home page as we created a number of static fields that we use often.
How often do I have to create a new Export for matching?
It depends. We worked with a 10 day radio-a-thon where donors would make additional donations throughout the 10 day period. Because we always wanted the most recent new constituets for matching we ran new exports often.
We have worked with some of the largest Raiser’s Edge databases out there. A million constituent record export takes some time to process, but knowing how the process works you can always use Query to simply Append the export used for matching. A simple query could be Constituent “Date Added” > a specific Date.
But for the majority of our clients re-exporting a new matching file is not an issue.
Now that NXT is out why not just import using the API interface?
We have been using EasyREimport as a consultant tool to import client data way before there was an API to the hosted Raiser’s Edge databases. EasyREimport makes the entire importing process easy. Once the cloud of importing and updating records is lifted and its power to save time are uncovered we find most people start to enjoy importing.
If a few duplicate records are added because we are not using a real time constituent API lookup that time is easily saved using the Duplicate Constituent Management Tool provided the Raiser’s Edge.
Excel Formulas and Tips
EXCEL Parse Last, FirstName MiddleName
EXCEL Parse Last, FirstName MiddleName – There are a few formulas out there used to parse names from one cell to individual columns. This formula works great for extracting the last, first and middle names from a column that has them all together with the last name separated a comma.
This assumes your data starts in Column A row 1.
=IF(IFERROR(FIND(” “, A1, SEARCH(” “,A1)+1),), TRIM(MID(A1,SEARCH(” “,A1), SEARCH(” “,A1,SEARCH(” “, A1) + 1) – SEARCH(” “,A1) ) ), TRIM(REPLACE(A1, 1, SEARCH(“,”, A1, 1), “”)))
The above formula extracts the first name “Aimy” from “Smith, Aimy A”. It works 99 percent of the time as long as the names are separated a comma and a space e.g. “, “. However, there are some complicated names that it does not work on such as: “Doe Jr., Rudy E.”
=IF(IFERROR(FIND(” “, A1, SEARCH(“, “, A1)+1), ), TRIM(MID(A1, SEARCH(“, “, A1) + 1, SEARCH(” “, A1, SEARCH(” “, A1) + 1) – SEARCH(” “, A1))), TRIM(REPLACE(A1, 1, SEARCH(“, “, A1, 1), “”) ) )
The above formula extracts “John” from “Van Brown, John B”. It works to get the first name from names with spaces in the last name.
=IF(IFERROR(FIND(” “, A1, SEARCH(” “,A1) + 1),), RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1) – SEARCH(” “, A1, SEARCH(” “,A1) + 1)), “”)
The above formula extracts the middle name “A” from “Smith, Aimy A”.
The last one above extracts the last name, “Doe”, from “Doe, John G”
Excel PROPER formula properly cases data from all caps to a case sensitive format. But watch out for records like Mr. McWrong as the PROPER formula will change his last name from MCWRONG to Mcwrong. You might have this issue with some address values. But you should be able to review your data after running the formula and find any mistakes.
Excel CONCATENATE can combine any two columns of data. EasyREimport combines two address lines but if you have other columns in your spreadsheet you need to combine the CONCATENATE formula is a great tool.