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Importing into NationBuilder

Submitted by Ropo on May 13, 2011 - 9:08am

Importing your contacts into NationBuilder is pretty simple. The interface is simpler and more intuitive than most CRM import interfaces I've seen.

Just save your data as a cvs file, log in to NationBuilder and go to People > Listing > Import. Choose your file and click Upload. Then you'll be asked to match your fields. If your data has a column header, be sure to start the data on line 2 (which seems to be the default). If there is no column header, start on line one, or you'll miss somebody!

Mandatory Fields

One thing you will have to have is at least one the fields that NationBuilder uses to dedupe. These fields are:

  • id
  • email address
  • twitter login
  • twitter id
  • facebook uid
  • phone number
  • pf strat id
  • van id
  • civicrm id
  • state file id
  • dw id
  • meetup id
  • ngp id
  • external id

or in table format (to cut/paste into your workbook):

id email address twitter login twitter id facebook uid phone number pf strat id van id civicrm id state file id dw id meetup id ngp id external id

Without at least one of these fields as a column in your sheet, you will not be able to import your list.

Best Practices

It's good to clean up your data before you import a file. Open up the file and be sure all the state, cities and zips are in the right columns and in the same format. I also like to correct all-caps and mistyping before importing. It takes a minute but you'll end up with cleaner data.

Also, you will want to tag your data with not only the general tags you are using, like "volunteers" or "donors" but it is best to also tag them with something specific to the import itself - like "2011-May5-eventlist". This way if you ever need to track down that specific list, you've got it!