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The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) Administrator's Guide to Importing Donor Data

Knowledge Article Number 000220284
Description This guide is intended to help nonprofit administrators use the NPSP Data Import object to transfer their organization’s existing donor data to Salesforce.

Audience and Prerequisites

You should have some familiarity with Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack before attempting to step through this guide. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you complete the Nonprofit Success Pack Workbook before proceeding. You should also be familiar with the Salesforce Account model before attempting to import any data. In particular, you should be familiar with the Household Account Model, which is the default account model for NPSP 3.0 and later. - See more at:

Salesforce Technical Support offers this Help Article to our customers. If further help is needed on how to do importing feel free to reach out on the Power of Us Hub ( or create a case with Salesforce Support.

***Please keep in mind that using the NPSP Data Import tool is recommended when doing Donor Importing, as there are challenges with using the standard Data Loader tool in Salesforce***

Resolution Donor Data Importing Overview

Your organization is ready to manage its donors in Salesforce, but first you have to import your existing donor data. The Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) provides tools to streamline the process and automate the translation of your data into Salesforce objects.

If you're used to working in Excel, think of Salesforce as many, many spreadsheets, all related to each other in specific ways, and all stored on the Internet. Salesforce is like a gigantic database in the cloud , and we commonly refer to the various "parts" of Salesforce as objects (Contracts, Household Accounts, Donation Opportunities, and so on). You can see these as the tabs across the top of your Salesforce organization.Importing the data into your Salesforce objects takes a lot of work, but there is good news. With the Nonprofit Starter Pack tools described in the NPSP Administrator's Guide To Importing Donor Data, you don't have to tackle this complex, time-consuming project without some help. In the Guide you will find help with:
  • Clean Up Your Data
  • Sample Data Quality Problems
  • Fix Data Quality Problems in your Existing Data
  • Transferring your Data
  • Uploading your Data
  • Importing Your Data

Click here to download the NPSP Administrator's Guide To Importing Donor Data or on the link below. This guide is intended to help nonprofit administrators use the NPSP Data Import object to transfer their organization's existing donor data to Salesforce. This guide is designed to use with the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) version 3.0 or later:

Please be aware that the Nonprofit Starter Pack is a 3rd party application created by If you need further help with the NPSP Administrator's Guide To Importing Donor Data Support is provided in the Power of Us Hub, an online community for customers. For more help click on the link below:

Special Considerations
  • Data Loader is usually the tool most are use to using when importing records into Salesforce. When using Data Loader there are limitations. Only INSERT (not update) can be used with the Nonprofit Starter Pack Data Import object. 
  • When using Data Loader columns in the CSV should have headers with API name (ex: NPSP__Contact1_First_Name__c) and not labels for auto matching.
  • always recommends using the Data Import Wizard.


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