"You will be proud of me. I managed to figure out the import. ... I have always been "manual shy" because the wording and lingo always raised more questions than it answered. Yours is definitely different. I could really understand it. The import wizard also made it very easy."
-- Bonnie W., St. Michael's Academy, Texas
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A: FundRaiser cannot import directly from Access; however, Access can export to one of the industry standard data files that FundRaiser can import from. This document explains how to do that using Access 97 (newer versions should be similar). You should then refer to the import instructions for whichever version of FundRaiser that you are using to help with the importing from the file that you export from Access. Please remember that FundRaiser can import only limited giving history in addition to the biographical data (names, phones, codes, notes, etc) and membership data. FundRaiser does not check for duplicate records during the importing process.

  1. Start up Access and open your file.
  2. Put it into table format - so that each donor record occupies only one row of what looks like a spreadsheet.
    • When you open your database, you will hopefully have a multi-tabbed view that includes a Table tab. If so, click on that tab, then on a table, then on the Open button to view it in table format.
    • Since Access may have been configured by someone to hide this view from you, it may be difficult to figure out how to get it into this format. Hopefully, you will have access (sorry for the pun) to an Access expert, possibly the one who configured Access in the first place. If not, our database specialists may be able to help.
  3. Click on the File menu, then on Save As/Export.
  4. In the next window, choose to save the table to "An external File or Database"
  5. At "Save As Type", click on the dropdown list and choose either of the following:
    • dBase III (*.dbf) note: this is the preferred format when it works, but Access cannot always create a proper dbf file (it's successful 80% of the time, so try it first).
    • Text File (*.txt, *.csv, *.tab, *.asc)
  6. Make a note of the Save-In folder (you'll need to know where you put the file when you start the importing process in FundRaiser) and filename.
    • It may be easiest to save it to the FundRaiser folder (where the FundRaiser program is located).
  7. Click on the Export button. If exporting to dBase, you're done. Otherwise, continue on...
  8. When exporting to Text, the Export Text Wizard will be next. Choose "Delimited" and click Next.
  9. In the next window:
    • Choose either Tab or Comma for the delimiter (delimiters are used to separate fields, like: name-tab-address-tab-city) (Tab is usually a better choice than comma).
    • Put a checkmark in "Include field names in first row".
    • If using Tab as the delimiter, set the Text Qualifier to "none". If using a comma delimiter, specify a quotation mark: "
    • Click Next.
  10. At Export To File, click the Finish button (the file name should reflect your choice of folder and filename from earlier).
  11. It is recommended that you print out the payment history in Access. This may be in another document under Table tab or may be in a document under the Reports tab. This printed document will be helpful when you are ready to re-enter the giving history in FundRaiser.

You're done. Close Access and go into FundRaiser and import this file. Refer to the onscreen help. (Click on the File menu, then Import, then ASCII-dbf to get started. Then click on the Help button for instructions.) If you have problems with the import, let us know. We'll be glad to provide whatever assistance we can. We might need you to send us a copy of the file that you are trying to import.