Converting Data from Roll Call

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Converting Data from Roll Call

DONATION can convert and import much of your data from the ByTheBook Roll Call program, by reading data dumped from the program.


Roll Call has been purchased by ACS Technologies, and is being discontinued in September 2021, with the intention that users will switch to the ACST Realm program. While that is an excellent option, some users may prefer a smaller and significantly less expensive option, in which case converting to DONATION may meet their needs.


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.


Our development of this converter was done with the most recent version of Roll Call, 15.5.7. It is possible that earlier versions may have differences in their database structure which will mean that the conversion will not work. 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 dumped Roll Call data files 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 Roll Call database is your donors (people), donations, donation categories (funds), and donor categories (the Association and Family Position lists). All years of donations are imported. If you have a global email sending configuration in Roll Call, that will also be imported. Not all fields from all types of data are imported, because DONATION tracks fewer things than Roll Call, but the core information you need should be there.


Before you can do the conversion, you need to dump the data from Roll Call, because DONATION cannot read data directly from the Roll Call database. Do that as follows:


From the Roll Call main menu, choose Administration ⇒ User Procedure.

In the window that comes up, enter exactly "data_dump", without the quotes, in the big entry box, then click Execute.

Answer OK to the prompt saying that it will export to the data dump folder.

Important: Answer Yes to the question "Would you like to export headers?".


These are the steps for the current release of Roll Call. It's possible that they may be slightly different in earlier releases.


If you start DONATION with an empty database, and it can detect that you have Roll Calll installed, you will be prompted to do the conversion. Otherwise, if you have already initialized your DONATION database, or if you wish to re-import a new data dump from Roll Call, you can do it with the Database ⇒ Import ⇒ From Roll Call menu option.


The conversion of data from Roll Call completely replaces any data that you already had in your DONATION database, except for your Organization Info, which Roll Call does not dump, so it cannot be imported.


Note: Importing and converting your data from Roll Call does not affect your existing Roll Call data in any way - you will still be able to run Roll Call 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 will be imported into the latest year (the one with the latest donation from Roll Call). 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 are called funds in Roll Call) - all of them are imported into the latest year, but only ones actually used in donations are imported into prior years.

DONATION does not have a specific notion of families. All people are imported as individual donors.

DONATION has two renameable drop-down lists for donors called Donor Category 1 and 2. Those are filled in with the Association list and Family Position list from Roll Call.

DONATION has 6 renameable Other Info fields for donors. The first five of those are used to import an internal code from Roll Call called the Family Code (which is consistent across all people in one family), the Spouse First Name, Gender, Marital Status and Birth Date, which seemed to us to be the most important fields in Roll Call that DONATION did not have standard fields for.

DONATION only stores one phone number for donors. If the person has a cell number, that will be used. If not, if they have a work number, that will be used. And if not, the family phone number will be used.

DONATION only stores one email address for donors. If the person has a personal email address, that will be used. If not, any family email address will be used.

Any Suffix on names is not imported. The Title, First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name are imported.

Names with only a Last Name and no First Name are assumed to be organizations or businesses, so that name is imported into DONATION's Business Name field.

DONATION has an equivalent concept to QuidProQuo amounts in donations in Roll Call (see Donations and Receipts with Advantage). Unfortunately, the way that is stored in the Roll Call data is not always convertible to the way that is stored in the DONATION database, so QuidProQuo amounts may not be imported. (The donations including them are still imported!) If there are QuidProQuo amounts that aren't imported, you will get a detailed message explaining that, and telling you what you need to do.

DONATION records exactly which donations are included in which numbered tax receipts, so that donations added after a receipt has already been issued will go onto a new separate receipt. Roll Call does not do that - it only records that a certain receipt number was given to a certain person. So it is not possible to import and convert that receipt information.

Some Roll Call 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