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Upload Your Data into NPSP Data Importer

Get Ready to Import

You’re about to dive right in to NPSP Data Importer in your Trailhead Playground, but in the real world you’ll want to be more cautious. 

Here are a couple of recommended best practices:

  • First test your import in a sandbox to make sure you are ready. That way, the practice import won’t affect your existing data in production.
  • When you’re ready to import your data into production, make sure you have regular data exports set up first. It’s a best practice to back up data before any major import and to have regularly scheduled exports of your data for backup. (See the link in Resources for details on how to do this.)
  • When importing to production, start first with a few records to ensure the import works before loading the full dataset.

Now on to NPSP Data Importer.

Configure Data Import Wizard

Find the importer through the App Launcher to get started.

  1. Find and select NPSP Data Imports in the App Launcher (App launcher icon).
  2. You’ll see a list view with several buttons in the upper right corner. Click Import.

    The NPSP Data Imports page with the Import button highlighted

  3. You’re now in the Data Import Wizard and ready to configure your import. On the Custom objects tab, click NPSP Data Imports.
  4. You’ll see three options in the “What do you want to do?” panel. With NPSP Data Imports you always want to click Add new records because you’re creating new NPSP data import records to hold the information before you send it to the target objects.
  5. Leave the settings under Add new records as the defaults.

    The Import your Data into Salesforce page, with NPSP Data Imports and Add new records selected.

  6. In the “Where is your data located?” panel, either drag your CSV to where it says Drag CSV file here to upload or click CSV and then Choose file to select the CSV you saved earlier.
  7. You don’t need to change the Character Code or Values Separated By picklists for this practice run, though if you have data in another character type for another project, you may need to change that.
  8. Click Next in the lower right corner.

    The Import your Data into Salesforce page, with the upload file selected and the Next button highlighted

You’re now on the Edit Field Mapping page. Because the data template you’re using includes all of the fields, you’ll see that a few are unmapped. It’s usually a good idea to delete the unused columns or map the unmapped fields. Don’t worry about that for now, though, because the data you’re importing are all in mapped fields.

The Edit Field Mapping page

Click Next and then, on the next page, click Start Import.

The Review & Start Import page, with the Start Import button highlighted

One last message will let you know that your import is starting. Click OK to get going and view the import’s status.

A popup that reads “Congratulations, your import has started! Click OK to view your import status on the Bulk Data Load Job page.”

While your import runs, pause to consider a few limitations of the Data Import Wizard. For example, your total import file can be no more than 100MB and 50,000 records. There are a few ways to work around the file size limitation. For example, break up a bigger import using four different templates for different objects. You can learn more about that, and other strategies and tools like Salesforce Data Loader and, in the Resources section.

Review Records Uploaded into NPSP Data Import Objects

Now that your import is complete, it’s time to go back to the NPSP Data Imports list. Click the App Launcher again then find and select NPSP Data Imports to navigate back. 

Now that you’re on that page, click on the list view name and select To Be Imported to view the records you just imported.

The To Be Imported list view with the new records.

From that view, click into the first record, which should be for the contact Haley Brown.

The fields from the CSV have been uploaded into NPSP Data Import records and no matching to real contact, account, and opportunity fields or existing records has been attempted. (The Contact1 Import Status field will be blank.)

Contact1 information for Haley Brown on an NPSP Data Import record

You know Haley Brown is already in the system because you created that record in the last step, but if you looked for her husband Jake Brown or their donation in Global Search they wouldn’t appear. They only exist in this data import record where you can review and edit the data before it moves to its final destination.

Pro tip: While you can fix data by clicking Edit next to any field in a data import record, if you notice a lot of problems in your import you should delete all of the data import records, fix your CSV, and try your upload again. (Seriously, we can’t stress this enough.)

It’s time to move on to the next step once you choose the Playground where you performed these steps and click Verify.


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