Where to start
In order to import donors, contributions, email opt-ins, and volunteers from an existing NGP database into a nation, begin by exporting the database. The export may come with a Microsoft Access database file (*.mdb) and 18 Microsoft Excel workbook files (*.xlsx). If Access is available, joining several of the Excel workbooks together can allow for fewer total imports, but this guide assumes 1) use of only Excel and NationBuilder to perform the migration and 2) an empty NationBuilder database.
Before importing any of these files, make sure to review preparing for your first import. A common pitfall is the presence of hard returns, as they can cause unexpected record splits. As a reminder, it is a good idea to test a small snippet of each file (10-15 records) to ensure proper mappings and field standardization. Once a successful test snippet is imported, reuse the field mappings on the full import.
Data included in a standard NGP database export
Here is a rundown of the Excel workbooks included in a standard NGP database export that can be standardized for import into NationBuilder and a summary of their contents.
Once these Excel workbooks have been cleaned, make sure to save them as CSV files. To avoid creating duplicate records across imports, use NGP's "ContactID" field as a unique identifier mapped to "ngp_id." The following guide will provide suggested standard field mappings for each file, but if there are other columns desired for import, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To begin, import ExportMain (under People > Import > Voter file) so that all references to people in the other files will properly dedupe. If not importing voter districts, a one time import can be used instead.
Make sure that the ExportMain import completes before moving forward. Next, import ExportContrib (under Finances > More > Import Donations) to attach donations to the newly created signup records. Do not import the NGP "ID" field.
NGP main codes and volunteer types are both used to classify people and can thus be imported as tags into NationBuilder.
For the ExportCodes file:
For the ExportVolunteers file, append a column in Excel to designate volunteers. Title the header "is_volunteer" and add a "Y" to each record that should be marked as a volunteer in NationBuilder. Read more about volunteer roles here.