Step 1b – Compile Your Data

Your responsibility

Gather the data you wish to include in the data migration. Send it to your data migration expert.

Standard Time frame

1-4 weeks

Required Response Time

2 weeks


Take your time with this step. Make sure that you gather all of the data that you want migrated into your new Sumac database. You will not have a chance to send more data for mapping. As you prepare your data for mapping, make note of each file you sent, what you named it, and how you produced the data (e.g. reports, export settings). This helps you when you have to repeat the process in Step 3 in order to send your data for the final migration.

Your data might include

  • Database tables (converted to spreadsheets)
  • Database reports (converted to spreadsheets)
  • Donations
  • Event attendance information
  • Mailing lists
  • Accounting contacts
  • Board lists
  • Email lists
  • Program usage history
  • Volunteer lists
  • Volunteer time logs
  • Any other data you have in spreadsheets
* Please be aware that this is just an example list. Your data may include much more than this, or less. What’s important is that you send us all of your data.

What Your Data Should Look Like

Most databases store data in the form of tables, with rows and columns. In these tables, each row contains one “record”. A record can be anything from details about a person, to details about a donation, event, sale, etc. A record can be something as simple as an option in a drop-down menu. In the case where your data is coming from a pre-existing database, the aforementioned tables are then related to each other with a key or an id. We will need that ID to tie records together. Here is an example of what data should look like: Acceptable Formats All columns must be labelled with headers that are easy to understand and that clearly identify column contents. Please note: Files that do not contain column headers will be discarded.

Multiple Tables Not Acceptable

Spreadsheets with several tables containing different types of data arranged visually on a single worksheet, like this will not be accepted: Unacceptable Formats

Multiple Tabs Not Acceptable

Each spreadsheet must be sent in a separate file. If a file contains more than one worksheet (multiple tabs), we will only address the worksheet that appears when the file is opened. Unacceptable Formats

Acceptable File Formats

We require your data be in one of the following file formats: .csv, .xls, .xlsx, or .txt (Tab delimited text files).

Unacceptable File Formats

  • Entire databases files (eg. .mdb, .accdb, .gds, .fp5, .fp6, etc.). You are responsible for extracting data from your existing systems and providing it to your data migration expert in one of the formats listed above.
  • Word processing documents (eg. .doc, .odt)
  • PDF documents


If you are sending data from large softwares like Sales Force, Giftworks, or Income Manager, and you hope to stay within our 350 column limit, consider using the report functionality. You can select what data you would like to migrate to Sumac, without sending some of the data that the software might use internally. If you have an Access or File Maker database, please send us each of the tables along with screenshots of the user interface. Alternatively we can schedule a call where you can demonstrate the use of your database via screenshare.


  • Data migration includes up to 350 columns of data. This takes into account all the columns of data in your spreadsheets, plus any new fields you wish to create in Custom records, Case Management, and Forms. While we can be flexible with this number, you maybe asked to reduce your data if we deem it to be excessive.
  • If you purchased data migration for Sumac Silver, please remember that the service only covers 1,000 contacts. We realize that you may have duplicates, so we will convert up to 2,000 contacts at no additional charge. However, if your data contains more than 2,000 contacts, there will be a penalty of $100 for every additional 1,000 contacts.

Sending Us Your Data

When your data is ready to go, follow the instruction HERE, to send it to us securely.


If you need help extracting data from its current location, let us know. We have a Data Extraction service available for $350. Please note: It’s always better if you do your own data extraction because you know your data best. This service is intended for people who are really stuck and can’t get their data out themselves.
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