"I am impressed with the import feature in FundRaiser Basic, and was able to import our donor base of 400 names effortlessly."
-- Ralph, Soledad Community Health Care District Foundation
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A: FundRaiser cannot import directly from Excel; however, Excel can export to one of the industry standard data files that FundRaiser can import from. This paper explains how to do that using Excel 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 Excel. 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; however, you can check for (and eliminate or merge) duplicates afterwards - look in the Utilities menu for duplicate checking.

  1. Start up Excel and open your file.
  2. The spreadsheet should be arranged so that the column headings (row 1) contain the field names (we suggest that you insert a row if none exists) and the data starts on row 2, with each donor occupying only one row.
  3. IMPORTANT: Widen all columns to be much wider than they would normally be. Excel will chop off the end of some columns of data when it exports if you do not do this.
  4. Click on the File menu, then on Save As.
  5. At Save As Type, click on the dropdown list and choose any of the following:
    • DBF 3 (dBase III) (*.dbf) note: this is the preferred format when it works, but Excel cannot always create a proper dbf file (it's successful 80% of the time, so try it first).
    • Text (Tab delimited) (*.txt)
    • CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)
  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 Save button
    • If you get a message that says that the "selected file type does not support workbooks that contain multiple sheets", click OK. (If your file spans "multiple sheets" then you will need to save each one individually following the same above steps.)

You're done. Now close Excel and go into FundRaiser and import this file. Refer to your manual, or 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 will probably need you to send us a copy of the file that you are trying to import.