Migrating data from a LifeLine account to LGL

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This article is for people migrating data from a LifeLine account to LGL, and specifically for customers who have had LifeLine export their data for LGL. If you're a LifeLine customer and would like to receive these exports (for a fee) from LifeLine, please contact Alex Meyer at LifeLine@reninfosys.com.

You will receive three export files from LifeLine:

  • EXPORT_Constituents.xlsx
  • EXPORT_Codes.xlsx
  • EXPORT_Gifts.xlsx

These exports are designed so you can import your data into an LGL account with minimal effort. However, there is some work you need to do along the way, which this article takes you through step by step. As a starting point, make sure you have the three files listed above in a handy location on your computer.

Step 1: Configure your LGL account

Before you can import your LifeLine data, you'll need to configure your LGL account a little bit.

  • Add new constituent categories. In your LGL account, go to Settings > Menu items > Constituent categories and click the Add a category button:

Add each of the following categories:

  • Organization Type
  • LL Affiliation Code
  • LL Donor Code
  • LL Interest Code
  • LL Mail Code
  • LL Solicitation Code
  • LL Status Code
  • LL Other Code

As you create each of these categories, leave the type as "Multi select", leave the checkbox marked for "Is a filter", and then click Save.

Hint: You can copy and paste from the list above as you go along to ensure that your category names match exactly and are free of typos (the names need to match your import field names character for character or they won't work).

When you're done, your list of constituent categories will have expanded to look like:

Step 2: Upload EXPORT_Constituents.xlsx

Now you're ready for your first import. Click on the Home tab and then click the bottom item on the dropdown list, Flex Importer.

Click the Import a file button to import a file:

Now navigate to where you have saved the file EXPORT_Constituents.xlsx on your computer and select it.

After you upload your file, LGL will automatically map the incoming fields to LGL fields. Every column header should match automatically. Double-check that every field is matching up by looking carefully at the mapping for each import field name. 

You should not see any fields that say "Do not import":

Assuming everything looks good, click the Save and load data for review button. 

The Review and commit page will give you a summary of what LGL is seeing in your data

Don't be alarmed if you see a constituent count that's higher than you expect. At this point in the import, LGL has not done any matching or merging of records. When LGL processes the import, it will use the External Constituent ID (a unique identifier from your LifeLine database) to make sure duplicate constituent records are not created.

Feel free to look through the preview of individual records to make sure it's all looking as expected. Clicking the Show full record(s) button displays additional fields from the import.

Once your first file is uploaded and accepted, take a look at the data in the Constituents tab and make sure everything is in order. It's important that things look good from your first import file before moving on to the next import files. Spend some time using the filters and search to spot check your database, and compare your results to what was in your spreadsheet.

If you see any issues you can undo the import by looking at your Completed Imports list, clicking Review, and then Undo  import.

Step 3: Upload EXPORT_Codes.xlsx

Now you're ready to import the next file. Use the Flex Importer to find and upload your file named EXPORT_Codes.xlsx.

Every column should automatically find its match in LGL.

This import should only update constituent records, so on the summary you should see a count of constituent records that will be updated (again, it will likely overstate the actual number of unique constituent records affected). You should not see any new constituent records being added at this step.

When you review the fields being imported, you can click the button for Show full records to see more fields:

Assuming everything looks good, click Accept import.

After clicking  Accept import look in the Constituents tab to make sure the codes came through as expected. You'll see all the LifeLine (LL) categories have been populated. If you see any issues, you can undo the import by looking at your Completed Imports list, clicking Review for the affected import, and then clicking Undo import.

Step 4: Upload EXPORT_Gifts.xlsx

Now you're ready to upload your third and final file.

Again, each field should automatically map to LGL.

The review summary will show you how many gift records will be created. Keep in mind that each row equates to a gift record.

After you've accepted the import, there are two places you can go to see how the gift information looks in LGL:

  • Constituents tab - this is the best place to see aggregate giving by constituent. For example, do a search by "Number of Gifts" to make sure the data for your largest donors looks as you expect it to.

  • Fundraising tab - this is the best place to see individual gifts, as well as summaries by campaign, fund, and other gift attributes. For example, in this search we set the date range to "All dates" to include every gift, and then use the "Giving by fund" view to see subtotals by fund.

Voila! That should just about do it.