Beacon

Importing with Beacon Standard Templates

Updated 3 months ago

Importing data into Beacon

Getting your existing data into a new CRM is an essential step to realising its potential. Beacon is flexible, allowing you get your data into your new account in two different ways: Importing your existing spreadsheets (which can be more thorough, but also more complex), or using our 'Standard Templates'. Beacon Standard Templates make getting data into your new account straightforward and easy - something we could all use a little more of in our day!

link How to use the templates

Using the templates is fairly simple - download the spreadsheet template linked below, add your data, then use the pre-built import template in Beacon to bring it all in!

link Step-by-step

  1. Open the templates here
  2. Download or copy the file:

For Excel, download the file to your computer by going to File > Download > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)

For Google Sheets, copy the file to your own Google Drive by going to File > Make a copy (Select 'Copy comments' to keep our helpful tips!)

  1. Enter your data into the spreadsheets, following the tips provided below
  2. Save your sheet as a .csv file
  3. In Beacon, go to Import data > Manage templates and click 'Create template'
  4. Choose the relevant Beacon Standard Template from the dropdown list, give it a name (such as 'People' or 'Migration - Payments') and click 'Create'Beacon Standard Templates in library list
  5. Go to Import data > Run import in your sidebar and choose the template you just added
  6. Upload your file
  7. Beacon's validator will check your data and flag up any issues (invalid phone numbers, emails, etc) that you can fix, or ignore!
  8. Click 'Import data'

check_circle_outline Well done! You've just added your data to Beacon! Rinse and repeat for any other data types.


link Completing the spreadsheets

We have included Beacon Standard Templates for a variety of data types. Click through to see advice and tips for filling out each spreadsheet:

help_outline If you need templates for other types of data, just let us know!


link Importing People

People are the core of most Beacon databases, and are usually the first thing to be imported. Below are some tips for adding your data to the 'People' template.

link Full name

Enter a supporter's full name (e.g. Mr Ben Cook). Beacon will split out names automatically when importing. Titles can be included here also - Miss, Captain, Reverend, etc.

link Email

Beacon will recognise and correctly import emails in any of the following formats:

All emails will be automatically converted to lowercase during the import.

Each person you're importing should have a unique email address. If two contacts have the same email, they will have their data merged when importing. This is also how we can link payments to the correct donor!

link Phone

Beacon only imports valid phone numbers, from anywhere in the world.

  • Beacon converts all phone numbers into the international format (e.g. +447792526879) during import.

  • If a phone number is not for the same country as your Beacon account, make sure it includes the international dialling code (e.g. an Australian number 0398765432 will not import into a UK account, but +61398765432, or 61398765432 will)

  • Beacon can import phone numbers without leading zeros (e.g. 7657889898) and with spaces or brackets.

  • Phone numbers shouldn't have extensions (e.g. "0203 8614 519 ext:3454") or notes (e.g. "Call mornings 0203 8614 519")

  • You can import multiple phone numbers from the same cell separated by commas (,), pipes (|), or semicolons (;). The first number will be set as Primary, and the rest as Secondary phone numbers.

link Type

Can be any of:

  • Donor
  • Fundraiser
  • Volunteer
  • Member
  • Beneficiary
  • Other

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

You can import multiple options here, separated by either commas (,) pipes (|) or semicolons (;)

link Address

Split addresses out into their component parts. Try to ensure there is always a 'Line one'.

link Contact preferences

Add any contact consent that each person has given.

Can be any of:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Direct mail
  • SMS

You can import multiple options here, separated by either commas (,) pipes (|) or semicolons (;)

link Interests

Can be any of:

  • Events
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Magazine
  • Campaigns
  • Personal stories

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

You can import multiple options here, separated by either commas (,) pipes (|) or semicolons (;)

link Gender

Can be any of:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Non-binary
  • Prefer not to say

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Date of birth

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Deceased?

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Job title

Simply the text of their job title!

link Organisation

The name of the organisation this person works for. We will use the name to link to the Organisation record of the same name.

link Facebook

You can import Facebook "handles" (e.g. @cjhoughton, zuck), or specify the full URL

link Twitter

You can import Twitter "handles" (e.g. @cjhoughton, zuck), or specify the full URL

link YouTube

Enter the full URL of the user or channel

link LinkedIn

Enter the full URL of the profile or page

link Website

Enter the full URL

link Notes

Enter any text to include in each person's notes


link Importing Organisations

People and Organisation in Beacon are stored separately. Below are some tips for adding your data to the 'Organisations' template to get them imported cleanly.

link Name

This should be unique to each row, as we'll merge any organisations with the same name. If they are not duplicates, you can add detail to make them unique. For example:

Instead of two 'Sainsburys' entries, make them 'Sainsburys - Mayfair' and 'Sainsburys - Gospel Oak'

link Type

Can be one of:

  • Business
  • School
  • Trust
  • Charity

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Email

This is the general email for the organisation.

Beacon will recognise and correctly import emails in any of the following formats:

All emails will be automatically converted to lowercase during the import.

You can import multiple emails from the same cell separated by commas (,), pipes (|), or semicolons (;). The first email will be set as Primary, and the rest as Secondary emails.

link Phone

This is the general phone numbers for the organisation.

Beacon only imports valid phone numbers, from anywhere in the world.

  • Beacon converts all phone numbers into the international format (e.g. +447792526879) during import.

  • If a phone number is not for the same country as your Beacon account, make sure it includes the international dialling code (e.g. an Australian number 0398765432 will not import into a UK account, but +61398765432, or 61398765432 will)

  • Beacon can import phone numbers without leading zeros (e.g. 7657889898) and with spaces or brackets.

  • Phone numbers shouldn't have extensions (e.g. "0203 8614 519 ext:3454") or notes (e.g. "Call mornings 0203 8614 519")

  • You can import multiple phone numbers from the same cell separated by commas (,), pipes (|), or semicolons (;). The first number will be set as Primary, and the rest as Secondary phone numbers.

link Address

Split addresses out into their component parts. Try to ensure there is always a 'Line one'.

link Website

Enter the full URL

link Notes

Enter any text to include in each organisation's notes

link Primary contact > Email

This should be the email of the Person in Beacon that will be set as the primary contact for this organisation.


link Importing Payments

Having a full donation and payment history of your contacts makes a fundraising CRM really sing! Though we'll import the payments from organisations and people separately, they can all be entered into the same spreadsheet - we'll take care of the rest.

Follow the tips below to get your transactions entered into the template and into Beacon.

link External ID

If you have IDs from the processor of the payment (e.g. Stripe, JustGiving, CAF) or from a previous system (Donorfy, Raiser's Edge, thankQ), enter it here. This should be unique - no two payments should share an ID.

link Organisation name

If the payment is from an organisation, enter their full name of the organisation here. We'll set the Organisation record in Beacon that has this name as the 'Payer'

link Person email

If the payment is from a person, enter their email here. We'll set the Person record that has this email address as the 'Payer'.

If you don't know who the payment was from (such as anonymous donations) leave this cell blank.

link Fundraiser email

If someone was responsible for this payment coming to you (such as a challenge event fundraiser), enter their email here. We'll set the Person record that has this email address as the 'Fundraiser'.

link Payment date

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Payment method

Can be one of:

  • Card
  • Card (Contactless)
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Direct Debit
  • Bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Web browser

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Source

This is where the payment came from - sometimes a platform (like Facebook or Donr), sometimes a general channel (such as over the phone or from your website's donation form).

Can be one of:

  • Website
  • Phone
  • Event
  • Email
  • JustGiving
  • Virgin Money Giving
  • CAF
  • Facebook
  • Donr

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Type

Can be one of:

  • Donation
  • Membership fee
  • Ticket
  • Other

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

If you have recurring donations, we recommend to keep them as 'Donation' and then create a subscription that they link to. A little more info on our page about the payments record type.

link Amount > Currency

This is optional to use! We will use your account's default currency if it's blank, or you can enter the currency code of this payment's amount (e.g. GBP, EUR, USD).

link Amount

The total amount that was paid. You don't need a currency symbol (£, €, $) but you can include one if you want.

link Total fees > Currency

This is optional to use! We will use your account's default currency if it's blank, or you can enter the currency code of this payment's fees (e.g. GBP, USD).

link Total fees

The total of any fees that were taken from this payment. You don't need a currency symbol (£, €, $) but you can include one if you want.

link Campaign

If this money came to you as part of a particular campaign (such as your 'Spring Appeal' or 'Green Ribbon Day'), enter the name of the campaign here. If it already exists in Beacon we'll link to that Campaign record, otherwise we'll create a new Campaign record.

link Fund

If this money is restricted to a particular purpose (such as 'Roof repairs' or 'Sub-Saharan medical supplies'), enter the name of the fund here. If it already exists in Beacon we'll link to that Fund record, otherwise we'll create a new Fund record.

link Event

If this money is related to an event - it could be a ticket, a donation from, or towards the event - enter the name of the event here. If it already exists in Beacon we'll link to that Event record, otherwise we'll create a new Event record.

link Subscription

If a payment is part of recurring giving, enter the ID of the subscription here. You may be importing these also, or it might already be in Beacon with the ID in the 'External ID' field.

link Gift Aid allowed?

Is this payment potentially claimable for Gift Aid? In general, any donations would have 'Yes' here, regardless of whether the donor has a Gift Aid declaration, or a valid address, already been claimed, etc - they won't be claimed unless they pass all other criteria!

More detail on our guide to Gift Aid in Beacon.

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Gift Aid claimed?

If a payment has already been claimed on Gift Aid, enter 'Yes' here. We won't add any already-claimed payments to a new claim.

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Sponsorship?

This is for Gift Aid, and is used where this payment is a combination of smaller payments from various donors given to you by a fundraiser as one lump-sum. You can then get a single sponsorship Gift Aid declaration from the fundraiser to be able to claim Gift Aid on this payment.

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Small donation?

Are you claiming or have claimed this payment under HMRC's Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS)? The payment should have been paid only by cash or contactless card, and be £30 or under.

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Notes

Enter any text to include in each payment's notes.


link Importing Subscriptions

link External ID

If you have an ID that is unique to this subscription, enter it here. If you're also importing payments from these subscriptions, this is the ID that they will link to.

link Organisation name

If the subscription is from an organisation, enter their full name of the organisation here. We'll set the Organisation record in Beacon that has this name as the 'Payer'

link Person email

If the subscription is from a person, enter their email here. We'll set the Person record that has this email address as the 'Payer'.

link Amount > Currency

This is optional to use! We will use your account's default currency if it's blank, or you can enter the currency code of this payment's amount (e.g. GBP, EUR, USD).

link Amount

The total amount that was paid. You don't need a currency symbol (£, €, $) but you can include one if you want.

link Frequency

How often do you receive a payment from this subscription?

Can be one of:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Annually

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

help_outline Note: Frequencies other than those above are not supported for auto-creation of standing order payments. More details in our standing order automation guide here.

link Status

Can be one of:

  • Active
  • Cancelled
  • Pending

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Type

Can be one of:

  • Recurring donation
  • Recurring membership

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template. If any of these options have payments automatically added (standing order automation, Stripe, GoCardless), you will also need to have a matching option in the 'Type' field on Payments if it is not the types above.

link Payment method

Can be one of:

  • Card
  • Card (Contactless)
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Direct Debit
  • Bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Web browser

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link First payment date

The date of the first payment for this subscription.

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Last payment date

The date of the last payment received for this subscription.

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Next payment date

The date that the next payment is expected to happen (should be in the future) for this subscription.

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Cancelled date

The date that this subscription was cancelled (if it has been).

UK or universal date format (ISO). For example:

15/06/2021
2021-06-15

link Source

Can be one of:

  • Website
  • Phone
  • Event
  • Email
  • JustGiving
  • CAF

Any other options will need to be added to the field in Beacon, and mapped in the import template.

link Gift Aid allowed?

Is this subscription potentially claimable for Gift Aid? In general, any donations would have 'Yes' here, regardless of whether the donor has a Gift Aid declaration, or a valid address, already been claimed, etc - they won't be claimed unless they pass all other criteria!

More detail on our guide to Gift Aid in Beacon.

Can be any of:

  • Yes, TRUE, Y, 1
  • No, FALSE, N, 0

If blank, will be same as 'No'.

link Campaign

If this money came to you as part of a particular campaign (such as your 'Spring Appeal' or 'Green Ribbon Day'), enter the name of the campaign here. If it already exists in Beacon we'll link to that Campaign record, otherwise we'll create a new Campaign record.

link Fund

If this money is restricted to a particular purpose (such as 'Roof repairs' or 'Sub-Saharan medical supplies'), enter the name of the fund here. If it already exists in Beacon we'll link to that Fund record, otherwise we'll create a new Fund record.

link Auto-create payments?

If this is a standing order subscription, and you'd like Beacon to automatically create these payments as they're expected, enter 'Yes' here. More details in our guide to automating your standing orders.

link Reference

If this subscription gets paid directly to your bank account with the same reference each time (such as standing orders), enter it here.

link Notes

Enter any text to include in each subscriptions's notes.

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