Importing Donations

Importing Donations

If you have donation data in different places – spreadsheets, or perhaps other databases, importing allows you to gather it all together in your Sumac database.

Only certain users have permissions to import data into a Sumac database. If you are going to import data, your Sumac administrator must give you the Bulk Edit & Import capability in your user profile.


Import Workspace to clean data

Let's use the example of an event where attendees made donations. If the donations were recorded in a spreadsheet, after the event you would want to import those donations into your Sumac database.

Before importing your spreadsheet, you should clean up the data. Use Sumac's Import Workspace to do this.


Click Import Workspace. Select the file and click OPEN.


First, specify the number of header rows in your spreadsheet, so that Sumac does not mistake column headers for actual data. This spreadsheet has one header row.

In the file management area, under header rows, select 1. Sumac will gray out the header row to indicate that this row holds column titles.

We have blanked out the rows containing contact names in the following screenshots for confidentiality reasons. In the white space, you would normally see each contact record listed.


Donations need to be connected to a donor, so the donor contact is a mandatory field in donation imports. Use data in the incoming file to identify the contact. If the contact is not already in the Sumac database, then you need to add them.

You can do this by selecting columns that hold contact data. In this spreadsheet, the contact first and last name columns hold the contact information, so select those two columns by pressing CRTL and clicking the Column 1 and Column 2. Then click Get Contact IDs.


Sumac will ask you to identify what information is in the two selected columns. In this example, it is the donors' first and last names, but note that you could use many other contact fields to identify these contacts, for example their street address, birth date, or email address.


You will then click OK, and Sumac looks in the database to find contacts with the specified first and last names, then creates a new column to hold the contact IDs for the donors that are already in your database. Records that have problems are selected. Click to show only selected records.


There are two possible problems: either the contact is not in the database, in which case there will be no contact ID. Alternatively, the columns being used to identify the contacts – in this example, the first and last names – do not identify one unique contact and there are two or more contact IDs showing.

First, let's deal with contacts that are not in the database. If there are many of them, you could save a copy of this file and import new contacts into the database first.

If there are only a few missing or new contacts, create a Contact and then enter their IDs in import workspace. 


Ambiguously defined contacts can only be resolved if you know which of two contact IDs to use. In the example below, if you know which of the two Yvonne Abbey in the database actually made the donation, remove the record with the incorrect ID from Import Workspace.


Select Show all and we now have a single donor contact ID for every donation.


Just to be doubly sure, it is a good idea to click the contact ID column and validate them.


Continue validating other columns, like currency amount and date fields, to ensure that all the data in this spreadsheet is valid. That reduces the chance of errors when importing these donations.

Although the spreadsheet contained only one column for the amount, Sumac donation records contain fields for both a total amount and a receiptable amount. Often these are the same amounts, so click to select the amount column, and duplicate it.


Save the work you've done in Import Workspace. Notice that Sumac proposes a revised file name. Each time Import Workspace saves a file, it increments the file version number.


Importing records

Now that you've imported the new contacts and cleaned your spreadsheet, click Utilities, Import, and Import.


Indicate that you are importing donations.



Choose the data file and click OPEN.


The data appears on the right-hand side.

You must tell Sumac which donation fields correspond to which column of data. In this example, select the ID column, and specify that this column contains the donors' contact ID.


The left-hand side of the window holds a list of all the fields in donation records.


Match field names to data columns by dragging field names and dropping them onto the data columns.


Some donation information may not actually be in the file. For example, you know that these donations came from a particular event, but the event is not in a column in the file. You can specify the event by clicking beside the Event field on the left-hand side, then choosing the event.

This event will be used in every donation being imported.


Once all the donation columns have been matched, you must check the data before you can import it. Click “Check Before Import” to tell Sumac to check all the data. Sumac checks every row in every column to make sure that the data is correct.


If something is wrong, perhaps a date or amount that is incorrectly formatted, then Sumac highlights the incorrect cell and puts an error message at the start of the row.

Stop the import, fix up the original file, and try again, but before you do this, Save Column Choices to save the list of column selections;


Later when you import again, you can save some time by clicking Load Column Choices.


Alternatively, if there appears to be something wrong with an entire column, you can opt to click to select the column, then click Clear Column Title to tell Sumac to not import that column.


Alternatively, you can click to just ignore these rows of data in the incoming file.

Then click Import.


All the donation records are imported into Sumac. They turn from black to green to indicate successful importing.

If you now look at the donations list, and search for donations from your event, you see that the newly imported donations have been added to your database.



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