There always comes a time when you need to get outside information into Salsa. This blog post will briefly cover the when and the how of these instances – standard imports, offline database imports, and outside spreadsheets that need to be synced up to your account.
Before we go on, let’s revisit a very important part of ANY import:
You must have your data in a tab-delimited text format before importing. Not an Excel spreadsheet, not OpenDocument Format, and not even Comma Seperated Values (CSV) file. Tab-delimited text!
Syncing a list of supporters with your Salsa database
There are two instances here: a standard import of supporter records (perhaps names taken from a pen-and-paper signup form), and importing data from an outside database (such as Microsoft Access).
For more on doing standard imports, read here.
But if you’re importing from an outside database, then you’ll need to make sure to use the UID field. The UID field is a ‘matching’ field that is only used on the Salsa back end. It is used purely to take the unique identifier from your offline database and apply it to the correct record in your Salsa database. That way, when you sync the two databases back and forth, they can relate to each other and deduplicate.
Read more on importing using the UID here.
Syncing offline donations with your Salsa database
While you can always use the manual donation entry screen to add donations in one-by-one, it may be that you have a list of a dozen or a hundred donations from another source that you want to make sure are reflected in your Salsa account.
In this case, you can use a standard import like you would in the above scenario, but you’ll construct your tab-delimited spreadsheet slightly differently.
You’ll want to make sure first that each row represents a transaction/donation (in a normal import, each row represents a separate supporter). This means you may have multiple rows with the same supporter information.
You’ll also want to include fields for amount, transaction date, and first and last name to assign to the donation record.
Then it’s just as simple as doing a regular import – no need to change any options!
Syncing offline actions OR offline event attendance
Imagine two scenarios:
1) Your organization grabs a booth at a local event and along with getting great information about what you do, people can sign a petition right then and there with a regular pen and paper. You, of course, have this petition running online as well, so you want to make sure pen-and-paper signers are synced up with your online petition.
2) Your organization set up an event through Salsa and publicized the heck out of it. You urged people to pre-register but also said you’d accept walk-up attendees. Well a good number of people that didn’t register showed up to the event so you just asked them to put their names on the sign-up page at the entrance. Now you want to make sure they’re reflected in your Salsa account.
In both cases, you’ll start by creating a spreadsheet with at least the names and email addresses of the signers/attendees. Next, you’ll log in to Salsa and create a group for each case – “Petition-Signers” or “Event-Attendees”. Next, you’ll do a regular import of your tab-delimited text file, making sure on the 2nd step to add the import to the group you created just a moment ago.
Once the import has completed, you’ll head over to the Query tool in Supporter Management. Create a query with the condition for Groups -> is a member of -> and select the group you created previously (it should look like this).
Run the query, and on the results page you’ll scroll down to the “petitions/actions/events” section. Then you’ll select the petition or event that you created previously from the corresponding drop-down menu, and click the “Add to…” button next to it. Now, everyone in the group you imported will be listed as a signer or attendee in your Salsa database.