For some organizations, importing member records is a one-time task performed during site deployment. For others, importing can be an ongoing process, as member records are regularly brought in from an external system.
It’s important that Member Records are imported correctly and that the fields from your current website are matched up with the corresponding YM fields. We’re very experienced with member imports, and we’ll make the process painless for you by performing the record imports from start to finish. Below is the YM record import process.
Determine Your Import Type:
What is a Member Record?
Most records imported into YourMembership.com are imported as member records. When you import a record as a member, you are creating an actual member account in the member database. When a member signs into this account with their username and password, they will be able to manage their member profile and gain access to members only areas of the site. The Member Type of the member can be configured to make these accounts visible or hidden to other site visitors.
What is a Non-Member Record?
When you import records as non-members, they serve as inactive placeholder records in the database that are pending individual activation. Non-member records are for individuals that are not yet members of your website, but are associated with your organization. After an organization imports its members into the non-member database, these “members” are associated with the membership site, however, they are not registered with active member accounts [as described above]. When they do register on the site, their non-member records are converted to member records by the user through non-member matching or by a site administrator during the registration approval process.
When considering a non-member import, please know that non-member records are always visible in the directory and cannot be hidden; however, only limited information displays to other members. Non-member imports are less common than member imports so you may want to contact support by submitting a support ticket to help determine the best import option for your organization.
Please note: The non-member database is not intended for ad-hoc emailing and has minimum field requirements. Also, you can provide non-member individuals specific registration codes to further simply and speed registration and account activation.
Obtain Your Database Records:
Export your records from your existing database into a spreadsheet or comma separated format (CSV) file. If your database is already in a spreadsheet format or you are starting from scratch, there is no need to export, so please proceed to the next step. Exporting from your existing database is beyond the scope of YourMembership.com’s support services. Please consult your database manager or database provider for any required product support.
Complete Your Import Template:
For YourMembership.com to import your data, you must arrange the data into a standard format compatible with YourMembership.com’s import system. To make the process easier, we have created templates for you to follow when performing this step. Download the appropriate template from the Import Templates page and add your data to the template. Be careful to maintain data integrity and not misalign any columns or rows when transferring, sorting or arranging your data.
Important note about Non-Member searching: The data entered into the employer contact fields is NOT searchable. Only the HOME contact information fields (address, phone, etc) are searchable for Non-Member records. If you would like professional information to be the “primary” searchable information, you will need to place it into the home contact fields. This does not have any negative implications regarding member records because (for security/privacy purposes) when a non-member record is converted to a member record, contact information data is not carried forward and will need to be re-entered by the member during registration.
Minimum Field Requirements:
The import system requires certain fields be imported. Listed below are the minimum fields that are required for a successful import as well as optional fields that we highly recommend are imported.
Required: Member Type Code, First Name, Last Name, Username, Password (A minimum of 5 fields are required)
Recommended: Constituent ID, Email, Primary Group Code, Member Approved, Membership/Membership Expires, Membership Expiration Date (if using dues), Country (if importing address information)
Required: First Name, Last Name, Email or Registration Verification Data (A minimum of 3 fields are required)
Recommended: Constituent ID, Email, Primary Group Code, Registration Verification Data, Country (if importing address information)
Examples of Completed Templates:
Raiser’s Edge Member
Raiser’s Edge Non-Member
If applicable, include your custom field profile data within the standard profile field data file. If custom field data is provided separately from an import batch of new records or for updating purposes to existing records, a unique identifier must be provided for each record (i.e. constituent ID or website ID). Prior to import, please ensure the following:
- All custom fields being imported must be already created in the system by a site admin.
- For multi-select and single-select custom fields, all values being imported must already exist within their respective custom field.
- When importing multiple values into a multi-select field, each value must be pipe delimited (example: New York|Miami|Seattle).
- When importing multiple values into a multi-select field, do not add spaces between values and the pipe character.
- Remove Duplicate Records
When performing an import to initially populate your database, duplicate records must be removed from the import file or duplicate records will be created. Subsequent imports containing new records can be imported using match data to prevent creating duplicates of existing records, however, if the subsequent import file itself contains duplicate records, duplicates will be created. Cleaning import files for duplicate records is beyond the scope of YourMembership.com support. Site administrators can use the latest versions of Microsoft Excel to de-dupe records.
To check for and remove duplicates using Excel:
- Open the file in Excel and click the Data Tab.
- Select a column for a field you can compare duplicates against (i.e. username, email address, constituent ID, name, etc).
- Locate the Data Tools box and click Remove Duplicates.
- Ensure you expand the selection or the entire row/record will not be deleted.
- Click the Unselect All button and check only the values you wish to compare against (i.e. username, email address, constituent ID, name, etc) and click OK.
Please note, this function keeps the first record it encounters and removes any records after it that have duplicates values. It does not check to see if one record has a last updated value newer than another so it’s possible the wrong duplicate may be deleted. As a result, you may be required to manually remove duplicates to ensure the correct duplicate is deleted.
Review Your Import File:
After you have filled out your template, please review the data in each column to ensure that it meets our field constraints. To learn more about these constraints, view our Help Docs.
Common issues we find:
- Dates are not properly formatted. All dates should be in your native date format. Example: if you are in the US dates should read MM/DD/YYYY and if you are in Germany the dates should read DD/MM/YYYY.
- Member type code is not given. Use the code as the value for this field, not the member type name
- Primary group code is not given. Use the code as the value for this field, not the primary group name
- Membership name is not given. Use the name as the value for this field, not membership code.
- Usernames are not unique.
- Titles are too long.
- Website URLs do not include “http://”
- Address lines split into two or three columns. All lines should be in one column separate by a “/n”. Three lines must be condensed into two.
- Professions do not exist in professions list (under control panel).
- Groups do not exist. Please verify the group codes you are using have an associated group that exists.
- Registration verification data do not match how the system is configured to match. Review registration step 2 to verify data match.
- The “last updated” field can only be imported into new records and cannot be updated after the initial import. This field will be checked when performing future import updates to determine if a record should be should be updated based on whether the record is “outdated.”