Does your nonprofit organization need additional help with data entry into Raiser’s Edge NXT (RE NXT)? Are you reluctant to delegate responsibilities because you have spent so much time ensuring your database is clean and accurate?
For over 20 years, I’ve supported nonprofits with their technology needs, and this is a challenge I frequently hear – while needing additional help, organizations hesitate to provide certain team members with access to Raiser’s Edge (volunteers, interns, or student workers, for example). This can be particularly true during peak times, such as during the holidays.
There are several understandable reasons for the hesitation. Perhaps your organization needs to keep its constituents’ data private, or you don’t want to risk an inexperienced volunteer or student making a mistake. If this sounds familiar, keep reading to explore an effective solution for bringing data from different sources into RE NXT!
Step 1: Leverage Excel for Simple and Secure Gift Entry
Rather than granting these team members rights to RE NXT, they can simply enter payments or contributions into an Excel spreadsheet. The gift data can then be quickly and safely imported into RE NXT using Omatic Cloud. Whether a small or large volume of transactions, entering data into an Excel spreadsheet offers several benefits, including:
- Efficiency – Limited information is needed in the spreadsheet, specifically donor name and gift amount, so it can be entered quickly.
- Ability to set defaults – Using Excel columns, you can easily set default values for information such as Gift Type, Date, or Campaign.
- Risk reduction – Your organization enjoys the benefit of extra data entry support without the risk of opening up your RE NXT database.
- Power to review – A database administrator or other team member can review the Excel spreadsheet before starting the import process.
- Extra review – Using Omatic Cloud to import the gift data from Excel into RE NXT, the gifts can be added to a new or existing (your choice) Gift Management batch.
Step 2: Set Defaults with an Excel Template
By creating an Excel template for team members to use, you can further simplify the gift entry process and ensure the data you need are input correctly. Let’s take a look at an example template. (Note: You can download the template here: Omatic Cloud Gift Entry sheet, or take a look at the included screenshots.)
Pro-tip: Use the ‘Code Table Values’ tab to enter defaults for your organization. For example, Address Type might have values of Home or Primary, or Email Address Type might have values of Primary or Personal. Using this type of template allows you to limit the values used to only those you want and prevents the inadvertent creation of new (and incorrect) code table values.
If you’d like to leverage our example Excel template, download the file (Omatic Cloud Gift Entry sheet), and save it locally. Note that the template is just an example. You may need to make column adjustments to best align with your organization’s RE NXT system.
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:
- On the ‘Code Table Values’ tab, go through all the columns to set your appropriate code table values.
- On the ‘Data Entry’ tab:
- Row 1 is the header row and includes descriptions of the fields that will be entered into the columns.
- Rows 2 and beyond are where your team members will enter constituent and contribution details.
- You can default columns in this sheet as necessary. For example, perhaps all gifts were made on a specific date, to a particular campaign, or all Cash.
Step 3: Import Excel Gift Data with Omatic Cloud
Once contributions are entered into the Excel file, you can use Omatic Cloud to import the data directly into RE NXT Gift Management. Here you’ll be able to view and approve the contributions. Once you approve, you will also be able to view the Batch within RE database view.
When the contributions are run through Omatic Cloud, the data will be cleaned up using Omatic’s proprietary, time-tested tools. Omatic Cloud will also search your RE NXT database for existing records and match to them to prevent duplicates.
You may notice that not all gift fields are available for import. There are SKY API limitations to RE NXT Gift Management. As Blackbaud continues to build out the features and functionality of RE NXT Web View, we at Omatic will look to adopt those updates within the Omatic Cloud integration tool.
The Result: Increased Productivity and Efficiency with Excel + Omatic Cloud
Now, your ‘limited access’ team members (volunteers, students, interns) can quickly enter contributions into Excel, and you can utilize Omatic Cloud to quickly and safely transmit all that information into RE NXT. You might even find that you want your professional data entry team to utilize this process as well.
Entering data into Excel comes with several benefits. It can be quicker and doesn’t require training. Additionally, it gives you control to clean up and transform data as necessary before it goes into RE NXT. Not to mention the fact that Omatic is always checking for, and preventing, duplicates. Overall, this can increase the efficiency of your business processes and ensures data quality for important gift and supporter information.
Would you like to learn more about importing data into RE NXT? Check out our Fundamentals of Importing for Raiser’s Edge NXT webinar series, now available on-demand:
Kevin is on the Sales Enablement team at Omatic. With over 20 years supporting nonprofit technology needs, he began his career with Blackbaud, where he served as the Product Support Lead for both Raiser’s Edge and Altru. In his free time, he enjoys working on his yard in the country, cooking, golfing, and home improvement. Kevin has a passion for helping non-profits with solutions and time savings.