Converting Data from GiftWorks

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>


Converting Data from GiftWorks

DONATION can convert and import much of your data from the GiftWorks program, by reading it either from an actual GiftWorks database file or a GiftWorks database backup file. Some users seem to be switching from due to their takeover by another company followed by significant price increases in 2013. GiftWorks is of course a much larger program than DONATION, so DONATION can only import the data that it normally stores!


If you are using the Local Network Version of DONATION, the conversion can only be done from the Local Network Server Version - it cannot be done from the Local Network Client Version.


If you try the conversion and have difficulties, please contact us at Software4Nonprofits for assistance. We may ask you to send us a copy of your GiftWorks database file for analysis, in order to have the program enhanced to convert that version's data as well.


The information that can be converted from your GiftWorks database is your organization's name and address, donation categories (funds), donor categories (donor types), donors and donations (gifts). All years of donations are imported.


To start the conversion, use the Database ⇒ Import ⇒ From GiftWorks menu option. You will be prompted to select the GiftWorks database file or backup file to be converted. The file open dialog box comes up initially in a folder where we have been informed these files are generally found, but that may or may not be correct on your computer. The GiftWorks database file will be a filename ending in ".gds", or you can use a GiftWorks backup file, which is a filename ending in ".gbf". From there, just follow the prompts to have your GiftWorks data imported into DONATION.


Note: If you use a GiftWorks backup file, it ends up extracting the actual database file from that, and storing it in DONATION's data directory. If you look at that extracted file in the Computer or Windows Explorer tools, it may have an unexpected modification date. (One backup that we tested with a 2014 date extracted a database that it showed as having a 2004 date, but it really did include 2014 data!) This incorrect date appears to be a bug in the GiftWorks backup routine, but is not a real problem.


The conversion of data from GiftWorks completely replaces any data that you already had in your DONATION database.


Note: Importing and converting your data from GiftWorks does not affect your existing GiftWorks data in any way - you will still be able to run GiftWorks after this (assuming you were able to run it before!).


Some specific notes on the conversion:


DONATION keeps separate copies of donor records for each calendar year of data in the program. All donor records that are not deleted will be imported into the latest year (the one with the latest donation from GiftWorks). For prior years, only donor records that have donations will be imported. If for some reason you want the donors to be the same in all years, you can use the Copy Missing Donors function in DONATION.

The same approach is taken with donation categories (which we believe are called funds in GiftWorks) - all of them are imported into the latest year, but only ones actually used in donations are imported into prior years.

We have seen cases where there seem to be duplicate records for donors, one with a first and last name in GiftWorks, and one with only a display name, but no first or last name. We're not clear why this happens, but the same duplication will then occur in DONATION. DONATION does not have a display name field, so it will try to split such names up into first and last names.

Deleted donors are only imported into a given year if they have donations in that year. Any such imported donor records will have "DELETED" added in the Business Name field for easy identification on the Donor List.

Donor types, if you used them, are imported into the Donor Category 1 field in DONATION, but only in the latest year of donors and donations.

Some GiftWorks fields are longer than the corresponding fields in DONATION. If necessary, field contents will be truncated (cut down) to the maximum size in DONATION. If this happens, you will be shown a file of all such fixes after the conversion is completed, which you can print out and use to fix any problems caused by this truncation. For technical reasons, there may be some duplications in this list of fixes, for example donor names or donation categories that were cut down once for each year they were imported into. There is probably no good reason to do any fixes in anything other than the latest year.


This topic was last edited on Feb 17, 2023