How to Mass Edit and Mass Update Constituents in Bloomerang
There may be times when you are managing data in Bloomerang and you need to update or edit batches of constituent accounts. Depending on the number of constituent accounts you need to update or edit, it may be cumbersome or burdensome to modify the accounts one at a time in Bloomerang. Using Bloomerang report exports, Excel, and Bloomerang imports you can mass update and mass edit constituent accounts without modifying constituent accounts one-by-one.
You can mass update and mass edit constituent accounts in Bloomerang using the process described in this post. Both processes can be accomplished in Bloomerang via the same set of steps. For informational purposes, let’s define each data management process.
Mass Update: Update every constituent account in your batch with the same data values for each account.
Mass Edit: Edit each constituent account in your batch with varying data and data values for each account.
Benefits and Challenges
There are benefits and challenges to the mass update and mass edit process.
The benefits include…
- Provides clarity of data entry. You can see what you are modifying across the entire batch instead of one at a time.
- Increases the speed of data entry. You can update and edit accounts in batch instead of one at a time.
The challenges include…
- Your update and edit process must be accurate because Bloomerang imports cannot be undone (except manually).
- Your update and edit process will be conducted outside of Bloomerang, which may be less intuitive than editing accounts in Bloomerang.
Before Getting Started
Before we dive into the steps for the mass edit and mass update process, there are some key points to be aware of. While these are somewhat technical, they are important considerations for the mass update and mass edit process.
Using the mass update and mass edit process…
- You can add new values to any field in the database.
- You can overwrite any field in the database except addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. You can only add new addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses via import.
- You cannot make a field blank (having no value) if it isn’t already blank in your database before staring this process.
- You cannot remove a field value (de-select) in a multi-select field.
It is important to keep these key points in mind because they will affect how you enter data in your mass update and mass edit Excel import file.
Step 1: Export constituent accounts to Excel
The mass edit and mass update process starts in Bloomerang. Create a constituent list report in Bloomerang. Make Account Number the first column in your report. Add the Account Name as the second column in the report (or first name and last name as the second and third columns). Then add any additional columns for data that you want to edit or modify. Modify the filters of your report for the segment of constituents you want to edit or update. Export your report to Excel and save the file locally to your computer.
Step 2: Edit constituent accounts in Excel
With the Bloomerang report you created in step one saved in Excel on your computer, open the file. You will maintain the Account Number column in your file. Don’t edit this column at any point in this process. The Account Number field will be your duplicate check field when you reimport your file back into Bloomerang in step three. It is also recommended that you keep the name columns intact as well.
Now you can do one of two things…
- Edit existing columns of data in your Excel file that were exported from Bloomerang. You can change values for all fields (with the exceptions listed above in mind) and add values for “Select multiple values from a list” fields. Keep in mind the limitations for mass edits and mass updates based on the rules that we described earlier.
- Add new columns to your Excel file that match fields in your Bloomerang database, but weren’t exported in the original export from Bloomerang. Add field values to the cells in those columns. Make sure to format these cells appropriately based on the type of field in that column.
In both of these situations all standard import rules and import file formatting requirements apply. This process must adhere to the specifications for a Bloomerang import as well as match the formatting for the type of field the column represents and the formatting of the field values in that field.
All of the data you add or update will correspond to the account in that row and field in that column. Update and modify your Excel file to the specifications you need for the constituent accounts in Bloomerang. Excel is a great tool for mass updates and mass edits because you have complete control and clarity of your data in the file. It provides clarity because all data is presented in a grid, which is an easy format for mass data entry. When you are done making modifications, save your Excel file to your computer as a CSV file.
Step 3: Import edited constituent accounts to Bloomerang
The final step is to conduct a constituent account import with your updated and edited CSV file. The import will use the Account Number as the duplicate check so your updates and edits are matched to the appropriate constituent account in Bloomerang. Because every account in your file will be a duplicate, select “Trust What’s In My File.” That tells Bloomerang to update the constituent accounts that are duplicates with the data in the import file. The data in the file will overwrite the data in Bloomerang, but empty rows and cells in the import file will not erase data in the database (see the “Before Getting Started” section above to learn more about this process).
To start, import three to five rows of data. This recommendation is based on the fact that Bloomerang imports cannot be undone. Testing three to five accounts allows you to go in and manually update those records if something goes wrong with your import. Then you can fix the import for the next batch.
This process can save you time. Instead of manually updating constituent accounts one at a time, you can mass update and mass edit existing accounts in your Bloomerang database by exporting accounts to Excel, editing and updating data in Excel, and then reimporting those accounts back into Bloomerang using Bloomerang’s standard import tools. This is a database administrator trick that can take your Bloomerang data entry and data management processes to the next level.
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