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JMG Solutions
1055 Shawnmarr Rd #65
Mississauga, ON L5H3V2

Data Conversion

Should you be considering our service?  What does converting data involve?  How does it fit into the implementation of your Fundraising Management system?

Deciding to purchase a new fundraising management system has been an important and exciting decision for you.  Laying the foundation to begin using the system effectively may require the conversion of your data records from your current fundraising system.

Data conversion aims to save you time and effort and ensure that data accuracy of your current donors and records are maintained.  It should minimize the time required on your part to do manual data entry and will shorten the time required to transfer over to using your new system. 

Manual data entry can take from 5 minutes to 20 minutes per record and increases the chances that you may enter information incorrectly from your current to new system through natural errors.  For example, if you have 5,000 records, at 5 minutes per record it would take one person 416 hours or 69 days (based on 6 working hours per day) to manually enter that information!!

By converting your current records you will be able to add to this solid base of information and enhance your supporter backgrounds held in your new system.   Additional information can be captured to assist you in tracking your donors, building relationships and increase the power of information held in your fundraising management system that you may not have had the opportunity to track in the past.

Data conversion is part of the whole implementation process and is critical in allowing you to switch systems and continue with your day-to-day activities with minimal disruption.  Care and preparation for the conversion at the outset will lead to a smooth transition to using your new tool and enhance your fundraising efforts.  JMG Solutions aims to make sure the entire process is as trouble-free and time saving as possible and to benefit from the many lessons that we have learned during the 300 plus conversions that we have completed.


What kinds of formats have been switched to new systems?

Most of our clients have switched data from one of the following systems:

  • a database system such as dBase, MS Access or Paradox
  • KTS Appeal, FRC and GiftWrap
  • Income Manager
  • Fund Master
  • a "home grown" custom developed database program which has likely evolved over a number of years
  • a combination of a word processor, typewriter and a small database to fulfull functions such as tax receipting
  • a system running on a System 36 mini computer or equivalent running in a non-DOS environment

Each organization is unique in:

  • the volume of data records
  • the condition of the data records
  • the coding or depth of tracking from existing systems
  • the level of details held on each record
  • the style of file structures for the data records

Because of the wide variety of circumstances, we are happy to evaluate your specific data set to determine and recommend whether you should in fact be considering data conversion.


Why Should You Convert Your Existing Data Records?

Now that you are beginning the implementation of your fundraising management system, here are a few issues to consider:

  • The data you have on existing donors, prospects and lists is your base to start your new fundraising management system. Do you want to manually re-key in the information on all the individuals and organizations into your new system?
  • The giving history of your donor base is a vital part of our future fundraising efforts. Do you want to manually re-key this information into your new system?
  • Any additional information you have in terms of notes on donor or volunteer activities are part of the profile of your database. Do you want to manually type in this information into your new system?
  • Did your existing system allow the entry of duplicate records? Do you want to manually determine which records are duplicates prior to data entry into your new system?

In most cases, the data conversion process can determine the re-keying of information into your new fundraising management system. Conversion means:

  • We take a copy of the data from your existing system
  • Convert your data into your new system format.
  • Add any defaults for fields of information that your existing system did not have the ability to track.
  • Check for duplicates and merge duplicate records if available.
  • Import the data into the new system to give you a foundation to build upon so you do not have to spend the time to re-key this information.