Galvin’s Favorite Functions for Nonprofits: NPSP Data Importer

Salesforce's NPSP Data Importer makes light work of new record creation. Follow our step-by-step guide for using this efficient tool.

About the Author: Jennifer Stefero

April 11, 2024

NPSP Data Importer

Let’s face it. Importing data into a database can be a real pain, even with Salesforce tools like Data Loader and the Data Import Wizard. You still have to prepare spreadsheets, do multiple uploads to prevent duplicates and create all the needed records, and follow a specific upload sequence. 

The process takes lots of time and generates plenty of chances for errors. 

Yet nonprofits constantly need to upload data to create fundraising and donor records. But who has time to handle messy, manual data imports? No one. 

Managing your data doesn’t have to be that hard. Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) comes with Data Importer. This step-by-step tool makes light work of this critical task. 

What Is NPSP Data Importer?

NPSP Data Importer allows you to create accounts, contacts, donations/opportunities, related payments, soft credits, general accounting unit allocations, and campaigns and campaign members from a single import while avoiding duplicate record creation. 

The importer brings all the data into a staging area where you can review and edit it before making changes to your database.  Instead of starting over to resolve problems, the NPSP Data Importer helps you find and fix problems as part of the process workflow. 

NPSP Data Importer looks like this:

NPSP Data Importer

NPSP Data Importer is ideal for mass updates from major campaigns, such as data from payment processors and information from direct-mail houses. If your organization has data that belongs in the CRM but finding the time to prepare and upload it is a major challenge, Salesforce’s Data Importer is for you. 

How Does Data Importer Work? Here are Your Step-by-Step Instructions. 

NPSP Data Importer uses a simple process to upload, map, and add data to Salesforce. The tool eliminates much of the manual database work that consumes valuable resources. 

  1. Users create one CSV file containing all constituent and donation data for import. 
  2. Data is added to an NPSP Data Importer template, which aligns with the fields captured in the data import custom object.
  3. Data Importer’s Advanced Mapping function determines how fields map to corresponding custom and standard fields inside Salesforce. Instead of accomplishing this through multiple, sequenced spreadsheet uploads, the tool does it from a single file. 
  4. NPSP Data Importer stages the information for validation. The tool shows which imported records succeeded or failed so users can correct the data before officially adding the information to the CRM. If data already exists in the system, this step ensures fields map correctly and helps catch duplicates. 
  5. Once everything is in good shape, the data gets officially imported with one final click. 

Visit for more details.

Why Is NPSP Data Importer a Galvin Favorite Function? 

Here are the top three reasons why we like Salesforce’s NPSP Data Importer: 

  1. The step-by-step process. Not everyone is a database wizard, and with Data Importer, they don’t need to be. The tool walks users through a straightforward process and automates much of the work. There’s no need to access an external tool or manage additional logins—everything is accessible within Salesforce. This is great for people not as comfortable with data uploads or who want something simpler than complex tools like Data Loader. 
  2. Big time savings. NPSP Data Importer allows users to match or create contacts, and accounts, AND open an opportunity at the same time. Salesforce’s duplicate rules help match things like new donors, households, and donations to customize each import. Plus, you can track the campaign source, member participation status, payments, soft credits, and GAUs simultaneously without extra steps. This is a huge timesaver and a big help for busy nonprofit teams. 
  3. Customization is available. Data Importer lets you customize which fields are used to find matching records on contacts, accounts, and donations (used to match when a new payment comes in). This level of detail helps to prevent the creation of duplicate entries. A clean database is a usable database. 

Don’t Let Data Management Drag You Down

Research shows that 76% of nonprofits lack a data strategy. Unmanaged data means missed opportunities for donations, volunteers, and other types of constituent engagement. NPSP Data Importer offers a quick, efficient way to get your data inside Salesforce so you can get to work. If the job still sounds daunting, Galvin Technologies can help. Let’s discuss how you can do more with your data. 


We’d love to work with you on your Salesforce needs. Our team of certified Consultants can work closely with your team to close more deals. Call us at 317-297-2910 or complete the form below.

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