Tips and things to avoid when using the File Uploader


In the File Uploader Overview you will have found out the purposes it can be used for, who has access, what can be uploaded and suggested course of building your data uploads. 

To help you upload data with minimal errors and as quickly as possible, here are some tips and things to avoid:


  • Worksheets should not exceed 1000 rows *
  • When adding data to the templates use the PasteAs Values function and then re-format any dates fields. This strips out hidden formatting that could cause potential issues with your upload, such as incorrect date formats.
  • Upload and apply changes one file at a time
  • Don't change the cell format from the ones in the template
  • Set up the lookup fields (settings) in Donorfy first - e.g. campaigns, product types and payment methods on donations
  • Import donors first, and then donations and other timeline entries using separate workbooks.
  • You can undo an import, but only if you haven't started changing the imported data in Donorfy.
  • Any embedded HTML in a cell (for example  <script>alert('1')</script>) will be removed.
  • If a cell starts with =,+,-,# or @ it will be  appended with  a single quote to the start

* If you have your Own Azure server for Donorfy and would like to talk with us about increasing this limit, please let us know. This will only apply for adding data to Donorfy, not updating data already present.


Common Mistakes

So, you have your data, it’s in a template or file that you are sure is ready for uploading. You’ve just dropped it into the File Uploader, but it’s returned an error – eek! What should you look for to correct and make sure you don’t experience it again…

The Uploader will provide some guidance in highlighting errors by in the status field and a comment, however, sometimes there are hidden errors that are not as easy to find.

The most common mistakes within uploaded files that we see through the support desk are:


  • Not refreshing your Data Preparation Template – latest field changes or additions not included
  • Missing key data – e.g. Constituent Type
  • Miss-spellings
  • Miss-named data tab – e.g. Sheet1
  • Wrong file type – doesn’t work with CSV
  • Filters and formulas within fields
  • Comments on fields
  • Multiple sheets with data on in one workbook
  • Fields too long - fields cannot be more than 100 characters long
  • Function characters such as > <
  • Incorrect file names
  • Too many columns error. For those of you who have lots of tags, this can occur as the number of columns exceeds 220
  • Exceeding your upload limit (1000 for those who don’t have their own Azure server)
  • Dates – incorrectly formatted dates – use Short Date 15/10/2019


Best bit of advice

Try the uploader with some test data before committing to live data – you can see what may have been missed easier or perhaps you may need to re-order the way in which you uploading files.

You can undo the files later on, and delete them from the Uploader.

And of course, you can delete the small set of test records manually or even keep them tagged as test for future usage…


Partner Services

We work with a number of experts who are willing and able to work with you to get the best out of your Donorfy database. Their services include training, data migrations, strategy, reports, website design and web widget implementation, integrations, consulting and more. And are just a call or email away.

Whilst they are partners, they are independent from Donorfy and of course will charge for their time. However, investment in the right places does bring the best results.



And if it does all go wrong – Don’t delete the file/s! Raise a support ticket and Donorfy Support will take a look at it for you.


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