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.

NGP export file name: Summary of contents

  • ExportCodes: NGP main codes (customizable people descriptors).
  • ExportContrib: Contributions (donor, date, amount, method, election cycle, etc.).
  • ExportMain: Main contact record file (name, address, phone, email, occupation, etc.).
  • ExportVolunteer: Volunteer codes (customizable volunteer role descriptors).

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 help@nationbuilder.com.

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.

NGP field name: NationBuilder field name (SIGNUP subnav unless otherwise stated) - Instructions

  • ContactID: ngp_id
  • Prefix: prefix
  • Firstname: first_name
  • Middle: middle_name
  • Lastname: last_name
  • Suffix: suffix
  • Gender: sex - M/F/O
  • Address1/2/3: address1/2/3 (ADDRESS)
  • City: city (ADDRESS)
  • State: state (ADDRESS)
  • Zip: zip (ADDRESS)
  • Carrier_rt: carrier_route (MAILING_ADDRESS)
  • HomePhone: phone_number
  • WorkPhone: work_phone_number
  • FaxPhone: fax_number
  • Phone3/4/5: mobile_number - Select only one column to map to this field.
  • Email/2: email - Can map same field twice.
  • Employer: employer
  • Occupation: occupation
  • County: county (ADDRESS)
  • Precinct: Precinct name (PRECINCT)
  • Congress: federal_district
  • Statesenate: state_upper_district
  • Statehouse: state_lower_district
  • Party: party - 1 character Party abbreviation - full list of political parties.
  • Enterdate: created_at
  • Notes: background - Will override previous background.
  • Work Address1/2: address1/2 (WORK_ADDRESS)
  • Work City: city (WORK_ADDRESS)
  • Work State: state (WORK_ADDRESS)
  • Work Zip: zip (WORK_ADDRESS)
  • WebSite: website
  • Assistant: assistant_name_or_email - Must be valid member of nation.
  • Birthdate: dob - MM/DD/YYYY
  • CanEmail: email_opt_in - ***Y/N: important for email deliverability***

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 field name: NationBuilder field name (DONATION subnav unless otherwise stated) - Instructions

  • ContactID: ngp_id (SIGNUP)
  • Type: fec_type_name/fec_type_id - ***Do not use fec_type_ngp_code, translate using this guide***
  • Date: created_at - MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM
  • Amount: amount - Dollars
  • Method: id/name (PAYMENT_TYPE) - ***Do not use ngp_code (PAYMENT_TYPE), translate using this guide***
  • Period: name (ELECTION_PERIOD) - ***Do not use ngp_code (ELECTION_PERIOD), translate using this guide***
  • Cycle: election_cycle
  • Source: tracking_code_slug
  • Tran_ID: note
  • Check: check_number
  • ExternalFile: background (SIGNUP) - Will override previous background

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:

NGP field name: NationBuilder field name (SIGNUP subnav unless otherwise stated)

  • ContactID: ngp_id
  • CODE: tag_list

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.

NGP field name: NationBuilder field name (SIGNUP subnav unless otherwise stated) - Instructions

  • ContactID: ngp_id
  • Type: tag_list
  • Notes: background - Will override previous background
  • ___: is_volunteer - ***Created pre-import***

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