Set a rule or default in an import

In this article:

What is a default, or rule?

When you are importing data, sometimes the exact data you need to bring into Little Green Light is not contained in your spreadsheet. For example, if you have a "Mobile Phone" column, the column contains the phone number, which you can map in the Flex Importer to the "Phone Number" field in LGL. But what if you also want to set the "Phone Number" type without needing to add an additional column to your spreadsheet?

Using a default, or rule, in your import mapping is a great solution to this issue. With a default value in the mapping, you don’t have to add a new column of data to your spreadsheet and set up an extra mapping for it. You can, instead, set up a default to accomplish this for all rows of data that are being imported.

Defaults allow you to bring data you choose in through your import without having to do extra work—adding new columns or mappings, or making the updates in the records manually once they have been saved into LGL. You can set the default and forget it, knowing that the correct data will be generated for each record. Defaults help make your data as complete as possible with the least amount of extra work.

NOTE: You can add 20 or fewer defaults to any field mapping in an import.

Conditional defaults (when you want your default to apply only in a specific case)

Conditional defaults allow you to set a default to be assigned only in specific instances, such as when you want to make an address preferred only in cases where the address is present in the spreadsheet. This is an obvious example, intended to give you some context for how to think about conditional defaults. You can see how it works in the screenshots below.

First, click the “add rule” dropdown shown below to add your rule:

Select the defaults you want to use. Here, we are using an address type of “Home” and a status of “Address preferred?”:

Now you can add conditional logic to make the address preferred only when address data is present in the spreadsheet. Click the “Add conditional logic” button:

Then set the rule to apply only if the street address is not blank:

When is the best time to use a default?

A default is useful when:

  • You need information to come in with each row of your import but you don’t have a column set up for that information in your spreadsheet
  • You don’t want to type the information into the record after it has been imported into LGL  

The best time to use a default depends on what you want your data to look like in LGL after it has been imported. To determine what data you want to bring in with each of your import records, think about how you will want to query on that data and how you will want to be able to pull it into reports.

If, for example, there are one or more gift attributes that you want each gift to have, such as in the case of a campaign, fund, or appeal assigned to a gift, you can cause that gift attribute to be created for every record you import by using a default.

Common examples of defaults

  • When mapping gifts that you want to assign the same attribute to each time - Set the campaign, fund, appeal, gift category, payment type, event, gift acknowledgment letter template, or any other global setting for gifts 
  • When mapping address, email address, or phone number - If you want to give the new piece of contact information a “preferred” status, you can set a default to do so
  • Collecting data such as phone type - Say you want to collect home phone and work phone, adding the phone type to the import mapping would be an extra step you wouldn’t have to take
  • When creating tasks and contact reports - You can set a default for the type of task and the type of contact report

Instructions for adding a default to your import

When you add a default to your import, you set it one time, on a value (a field in your import mapping) that will always be present in the data. For a gift import, this can be the gift date or gift amount. For a constituent import, the constituent’s last name (because a last name is required to create a constituent record) is a good field to set your default on.

In this example, we’re adding a default to create a status of “Preferred email” for every email address being imported. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Map the email address to the field in LGL called Email address (NOTE: Do not map it to the “Email preferred” field).
  2. Next to that mapping, click “add rule” and then choose “Set defaults”:
  3. Set up the default so that the email addresses are set to "preferred":
  4. When you complete the import, you'll see those new email addresses added to the constituent record, set as the preferred email address.

    Splitting values

    If you want to import multiple values for a single constituent category or gift field, follow these instructions.

Two cases when a default won't work as expected

There are two cases when a default will not function as described in the previous sections of this article:

  1. When the field the default is set on doesn't contain any data. For example, if you set a campaign default on a field mapped to gift fund and there is no value for fund provided in the import file, the default would not be applied. Keep in mind, it's important to always set a default on a field that will contain a value.
  2. When the data that the default sets is already being mapped from the import file. For example, if you were setting a mailing acknowledgment template default and also importing a value for the mailing acknowledgment template, the default would be ignored.