You may have read many comparative articles on Raiser’s Edge (RE) and Salesforce NPSP. We know that though RE is moving to cloud with Raiser’s Edge NXT, there are areas that make users choose Salesforce over RE.

Salesforce has consolidated packages that allow for updates to be seamlessly pushed, without help from a consultant. Also, Salesforce has a strong community through the Power of Us Hub, that provides answers to your issues and insightful suggestions. Salesforce also has an edge in domains such as program management, marketing, and reporting and analytics tools for nonprofits.

On the other hand, what was assumed to be Raiser’s Edge strength can become a problem in migration. To provide support for nonprofit operations, RE does not need third-party integrations or detailed customizations. It was designed to be very flexible in terms of attributes and mailing preferences. This allowed users to configure their systems uniquely, which in turn does not support automation during data conversion.

This brings us to the most important challenges in transitioning from RE to Salesforce.


The data objects that get migrated are:

Raiser’s Edge Salesforce Notes
key indicator= O for organization
Accounts ‘Key Indicator’ must be imported for each exported spreadsheet
key indicator= I for Individual
Campaigns ‘Key Indicator’ must be imported for each exported spreadsheet
Events/ Appeals/ Campaigns Campaign Study the relationship structuring. Campaigns in RE are available as RE_Campain object, which can be downloaded and imported.
Relations Relationships – for Contacts Affiliations – for Accounts Map accordingly
Gifts Opportunities Type: Cash
Gifts Payments Type: Pledge Pay Cash/ Pledge Pay Stock/ Pledge Pay Sold Stock/ WriteOff
Installment Payments
Type: Pledge Pay Cash/ Pledge Pay Stock/ Pledge Pay Sold Stock/ WriteOff
Payments If Type=WriteOff -> ‘Written Off’ checkbox checked in Salesforce
Actions Activities  
Media Notes  
Constituency Notes
Contact / Donation
Notes Note ‘Title’ is not mandatory in RE, but is in Salesforce

‘Spouse’ is created as a ‘Contact’ in Salesforce and added in the same ‘Household’. ‘Household’ record is created for ‘Spouse’ in the same ‘Household’. Households can be created automatically for every Constituent. Relationship between ‘Spouse’ and ‘Constituent’ is created.

Migration may result in creation of ‘Anonymous Households’, when no contact is associated with the constituent account level record. This would need cleaning after the migration.

‘Tributes’ in RE can be added as custom fields on ‘Opportunities’. Tribute can be treated as Gifts ‘+’ record – ‘Gifts’ fields and a few additional fields. It might hence be easier to migrate ‘Tributes’ records after all the ‘Gifts’ records have been transferred.

‘Attributes’ can be added as custom fields for ‘Contact’, ‘Donation’ and ‘Fund’ objects.

RE uses ‘Fund Records’ to store details about financial side of events i.e. the purpose a donation is meant to fund.

In a nutshell, anything that can be reported in a tabular format can be pulled from RE to Salesforce.


Before proceeding with the actual migration, it is advisable to validate the mappings by running a test batch.

It’s easy to extract details about individuals and organizations from a system and move these records to a new platform. The complex part is ensuring that all the linked data and relationships are captured and preserved in the new CRM system. Also, you do not want to be stuck with wrong data import or poor classification.

All the metadata and sample set of data from Raiser's Edge is prepared where each table is its own CSV file. The mapping instructions need to be created for each table and filed. This helps in reviewing and modifying the field mapping. During the final import, ensure no editing or creating of new records is in place in Raiser's Edge. After the final transformation, what remains is cleaning messy data and merging duplicates.

If you have the Non Profit Starter Pack (NPSP) installed in a Developer/ Enterprise/ Unlimited Edition, rest can be taken care of. Now it is your choice whether you want to build on NPSP or design a completely new interface. Whatever you decide to do, we can manage it end-to-end.


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