Importing Constituents


These are the steps needed to import Constituents.

  1. Download the Donorfy data preparation template from Data Management | File Upload - this is an Excel workbook.
  2. Copy your constituent data into the rows in the appropriate worksheet and columns in the data preparation workbook
  3. Remove the other tabs in the workbook (you should only upload a workbook with a single worksheet),
  4. Upload the Excel workbook to Donorfy.
  5. Donorfy will check the uploaded data and update the workbook.
  6. You can then download the updated workbook and review the status and actions that Donorfy has assigned to each row in the worksheet - you can then:
    • Accept the actions and go ahead and import the data, or
    • Make some changes to the worksheet and upload it again for checking again.

Please note: the maximum number of rows you can import in one go is 1,000*. If you need to import significantly more data than that you can request that the limit is raised temporarily to 100,000 rows by creating a support ticket.

*The limit for clients using Donorfy with the Own Azure option is always 100,000 rows.

Data Preparation Template

This is what you will find in the workbook:

  • There is a worksheet for each type of constituent you have.
  • Don’t change the name of the worksheet this is because the name is used by Donorfy to identify what type of data is in the sheet.  It is important that a Constituent type does not exceed 18 characters in length otherwise the uploader will be unable to recognise it.

  • For individual constituents you can enter:
    • basic address information - i.e. house number, address line 1, town, etc;
    • label name and salutation - if you don’t enter these defaults will be created from the name information;
    • phone numbers;
    • email address;
    • Channel permissions - these are called Block_Email, Block_Mail, etc - these allow you to block communication channels - see more details below;
    • Purpose permissions - these are based on the GDPR purposes you have set up - e.g. AllowPurpose_General - see more details below
    • Tags - all tags you have set up will appear in the spreadsheet - these have column names of Tag_<tag category>_<tag name> e.g. Tag_Committee_Finance - see below for more information.
    • Name information - i.e. first name, last name, and so on
    • Three types of contact details information - i.e. personal, work, and other
    • For contact details you can enter:
    • Gift Aid - If the constituent has indicated they won’t sign up to gift aid then set the RefusedGiftAid column to Yes any other value will cause this to be set to No - if this column is missing from the worksheet then all imported constituents will be set to No.
    • Allowing sharing of details - if you are permitted to share details enter Yes into this column, any other value will cause this to be set to No - if this column is missing from the worksheet then all imported constituents will be set to allow sharing.
    • Notes - any text entered in this column will be added as a new Activity on the constituent's Timeline - the Activity Type used will be Notes.
    • Campaign - enter the description of any recruitment campaign associated with the constituents, the description must be the same as an existing campaign in Donorfy.
  • For other types of constituents, e.g. Company, Church etc you can enter:
    • The organisation name;
    • Contact details for work and other;
    • Channel permissions;
    • Tags;
    • Allow sharing of details;
    • Notes;
    • Campaign.
  • You can rearrange the order of the columns in the worksheet.
  • If you have added new Tags, Purposes or Constituent Types press the 'Update Template' button on the File Upload page to include the new items in the data preparation template (this gets updated overnight otherwise).
  • Please ensure no column exceeds 100 characters unless it is a comments field

Setting Channel Permissions

  • The Channel Permissions are blocking indicators, so Enter Yes to block a communication channel, No to allow it. If the cell is left empty or the column is removed from the worksheet then the channel will be set to unknown.

Setting Preferred Channel

The preferred Channel can not be set via the Constituent File Upload - constituents will be uploaded with their Preferred Channel automatically set to 'Do Not Mail'.

This will mean that they will not automatically sync to MailChimp as the sync process uses a combination of Channel and Preferred Channel to select constituents for syncing.

To set the Preferred Channel for constituents being uploaded, please see Updating Channels & Purposes with the File Uploader

Setting Purpose Permissions

  • The AllowPurpose_ columns should be used as follows, enter
    • Yes to allow a purpose,
    • No to disallow a purpose. 
    • If the cell is left empty or the column is removed from the worksheet then the purpose will be left unset.

Working with Tags

  • Enter Yes to add the a tag as active, Enter No to add the tag as inactive - if the cell is left empty or the column is removed from the worksheet then the tag will not be added to an imported constituent
  • If you need a new tag you should do this
    • Go to settings in Donorfy and create the tag.
    • Then go to Data Management | File Upload and click on the 'Update Template' button to include the new tag in the data preparation template 
    • If you want to add a new column for the tag to an existing worksheet you can but the naming of the column is very important it should be Tag_<tag category>_<new tag name> - e.g. Tag_Committee_Membership. The recommended option is to Update Template and copy the data from your existing worksheet into the updated template

Performing the Import

  • Having downloaded the data preparation template open it in Excel and use Save As to give the workbook a suitable name e.g. MyConstituentList.xlsx
  • Delete the worksheets you don’t need - so if you are importing individual constituents - delete the other worksheets.
  • You can delete any columns you don’t need from the worksheet:
    • remove contact details columns you don’t need - e.g. if you are importing individuals but don’t have work or other addresses remove those columns;
    • remove tag columns for tags you are not setting during the import;
    • remove channel permissions columns if you don’t need them.
  • Copy your data into the worksheet - you can use the functions of Excel to reformat and clean up your data.
  • Set column values for any tags, channel permission, allow details swap etc

When your workbook is ready to upload into Donorfy, it will be checked - this is done in background so you can go off and do other things if you want.

Once checking is finished your file will be shown in the queue similar to the example below:

mceclip0.pngYou can then download the file to review the status of the data - see examples of status and actions below. The action column may contain the following values:

    1. Import - this means the row will be imported
    2. Ignore - this means the row will not be imported
    3. n/a - this action appears against details of potential duplicates shown - these rows are ignored

Examples of Status & Actions

  • Valid records that can be applied to the database will be shown like this:

  • Records that have a potential problem are shown like this - a comment will be added to the warning cell describing the problem found.

  • Records that appear to already exist in the database are shown like this - you can click on the name link to view the record. 

If you are happy with the file - i.e. you don’t want to change any data click on the Apply Changes button - the data will then be imported.

If you want to make changes you should delete the file from the list of upload files, make your changes then re-upload the file.

Checking for Duplicates
When importing constituents we check using any first name, last name, email, phone numbers, address line 1 and post code data supplied. We use an algorithm which does ‘similarity' matching on strings - to cope with misspellings etc - to be considered a match - an email must to be an exact match, phone numbers a 90% match and name & address info a 50% match


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