Step 1: Plan Your Import
In order to ensure a successful conversion into The Raiser’s Edge, it is important to first plan the entire process from start to finish. This includes reviewing relevant importing documentation, taking the necessary training classes, and creating a realistic project timeline.
Before you begin your conversion, take the following steps:
1) Review the list of documents available on the Raiser’s Edge How-to Documentation page on the Blackbaud website:
a. The Raiser’s Edge Conversion Planning Guide
b. The Raiser’s Edge Conversion Guide
c. The Raiser’s Edge Import Guide

2) Create a project timeline. Be sure to take into consideration any blackout dates you or your team may have such as organizational events, vacations, or holidays. Creating a timeline will keep your project team accountable and help you stay on track for meeting your Go Live date. If you would like to see a project work flow with the data conversion done by Blackbaud, please click here.

Step 2: Export Data from your Current System
You will need to contact your current software provider to create comma delimited files for importing data into your Raiser’s Edge solution.

Step 3: Format your Export Files to be Imported into The Raiser’s Edge
The link below includes information on importing, along with sample imports that you can use as a guide for structuring your import files.
1) For more information on exporting from a non-Blackbaud system into The Raiser’s Edge:
a. How to convert from another software package or program (includes sample data files)

Step 4: Validate, Execute, and Test the Import
Importing data into The Raiser’s Edge is a threefold process. First, you will want to validate the data. After you have successfully validated the data, you will import it into The Raiser’s Edge. Once the import has been completed, you are ready to test the data. Testing is important as it allows you to ensure the import was done correctly and allows you to address any issues that may have occurred.

Note : Before you proceed with the following instructions, back up the database. If your organization integrates multiple Blackbaud products, refer to the Additional Requirements section of the backup article.
1) Make (or request if Hosted) a backup of The Raiser’s Edge:
a. If non-Hosted: How to back up the database using the Blackbaud Management Console (includes video)
b. If Hosted: How to request a backup of your Blackbaud Hosting Services database
2) Validate and execute your imports:
a. Blackbaud recommends you use the “Validate data only” checkbox in the import function prior to actually performing the import.
b. Knowledgebase article: How to import in The Raiser’s Edge - The Basics of Importing
c. User Guide: The Raiser’s Edge Import Guide
3) Review and correct exceptions:
a. After validating your import, you may come across import exceptions. You will want to address these exceptions before performing the actual import.
b. Knowledgebase article: What are import exceptions?
c. After you have completed steps 1 through 3, you will want to complete these steps again – this time with the “Validate data only” option unmarked. You will now be actually importing your data into The Raiser’s Edge.
4) Test your imported data
a. After your data has been imported into The Raiser’s Edge, you will want to test the data to ensure the import was done correctly and that your data is where you expected it to go.
b. Testing Guide: The Raiser’s Edge Testing Process Guide

Step 5: Post-Import Data Clean-up
It is important to note that the process listed above does not clean up your data; it will simply move your data from your existing system into The Raiser’s Edge.
You can clean up any data issues in one of three places:
1) Your source database, before exporting to Excel
2) In Excel, before importing into The Raiser’s Edge, or
3) In The Raiser’s Edge once the data has been imported
It should be your expectation that some data clean-up will need to occur post-import in The Raiser’s Edge database. Examples of areas you may want to review for potential clean-up are as follows:
1) Run a Code Tables Report
a. Run a Code Tables report and review all drop-down tables in the system. You can do this by going to Config > Tables. Once you are there, go to File > Preview > Code Tables Report from the toolbar and you can choose which tables to view (moving them from the left to the right side).
b. Titles, Suffixes, Relationships, and Constituent Codes tend to be some of the messier tables, so be sure to give those special attention.
2) Review Attributes
a. Attributes are used to track information in The Raiser’s Edge when there is not a pre-existing field available in the system. Oftentimes, data from your previous system will be transferred to attributes in The Raiser’s Edge a standard field is not available. You are also able to add attributes post-conversion. Attributes are located in Configuration.
3) Review Campaign, Fund, and Appeal Records
a. When gift data is converted into The Raiser’s Edge, all campaign, fund, and appeal records come over as active records. Likely, many of these will be historic and not be used anymore. You will want to mark those records as inactive so that they are not available options during data entry moving forward. You can review these records in Records > Campaigns/ Funds/ Appeals, or create an appropriate query or report to view them all at once.