How to import

Moving data from one system to another can be a complicated process. During a your trial, we offer free data import. Our Services team also provides custom data work. We can handle large scale migrations, cleanup, and deduping. Please email help@nationbuilder.com for more information. We also have detailed instructions on how to import different types of information, as outlined below.

Each nation has a single relational database with connected tables. Information directly connected to a profile is in the signup table. Donations are stored in the financial table and memberships are stored in the membership table. 

Imports must be formatted as UTF-8 standardized, comma separated files (CSV). Certain fields only accept data in a particular format and some fields are only available in particular types of imports. Detailed information is available on fields available for import. Files must be 1000 MB or smaller to be imported. Your computer may have problems opening a CSV file that is larger than 50 MB - a macro is available for splitting large files.


Before you import

Detailed instructions are available on preparing for an import. Important highlights:

  1. If you already have data in your nation, take a snapshot before starting an import. The snapshot must finish before you begin the import.
  2. Make sure your file includes unique identifiers.
  3. Understand how importing affects existing data.
  4. Mapping fields ensures data isn't lost or placed incorrectly. 
  5. Some fields only accept data in a particular format - pay attention to any restrictions indicated.

There are 7 types of imports:

One-time import

This handles importing most profile information for both people and organizations. You can import from a CSV file. A list or filter shared by another nation can also be imported using the one-time import. Begin a new import and review status of previous imports at People > More > Import > One time import.

Recurring import

A list or filter shared by another nation can be imported using the recurring import. Public information connected to a Twitter account can also be imported using recurring import. Twitter followers imports people who follow a particular Twitter account. Twitter followings imports the profiles followed by a particular Twitter account. Begin a new recurring import at People > More > Import > New recurring import. Review and edit previous recurring imports at People > More > Import > X recurring import. "X" represents the number of active recurring imports in your nation.

Voter file import

Requires the voter addon. Import profile information for voters. This import allows you to import a larger number of signup fields, including voting districts and party affiliation. You can also request a U.S. voter file from the NationBuilder Election Center. Requires the voter addon. Begin a new import and review status of previous imports at People > More > Import > Voter file import.

Vote history import

Requires the voter addon. Information relating to how a person voted in past elections. A voter file must be imported before importing vote history. Vote history can be viewed on an individual profile and included in filters. Vote history cannot be edited directly from the control panel. Vote history imports must be sent to the Services team by emailing the file to help@nationbuilder.com 

Scanned survey import

Import information collected during a phone bank or door knock using scannable sheets. Scannable sheets include the results of a survey. Begin a new import and review status of previous imports at People > More > Import > Scanned survey import.

Donation import

Requires the donor addon. Import donation records. Each record represents a separate transaction. Donations are stored in the financial stable, which is connected to a particular signup profile by unique identifiers. Requires the donor addon. Begin a new import and review status of previous imports at Finances > More > Import donations.

Membership import

Requires the member addon. Memberships are stored in the membership table and are connected to a particular signup profile by unique identifiers. A signup can have more than one type of membership, but only one membership per type. Begin a new import and review status of previous imports at Settings > Defaults > Membership types > Import memberships.


General import information

How to back up your nation

Prepare for your first import

Fields available for import

How imports affect existing data

Support status: supporters, non-supporters, and prospects

Importing addresses

Unique IDs

Geocoding

Auto-districting

Macro to split large files

Recover from a bad import

How to import specific information

How to import shared lists and filters

How to use recurring Twitter imports

How to import a voter file

How to import vote history

How to import scannable sheets

How to import donation records

How to import memberships


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