Merging Duplicate Donors
At times, you may accidentally come across a duplicate donor profile. Duplicates can be created in a few different ways:
- Data imported from a previous system may have already had the duplicates in it
- The system searches for a donor based on the data they provide on an online donation form and cannot find them, so it creates a new profile. (Most often this occurs when the donor gives a different address than the one you have on file.)
- A donor signs up to volunteer and provides an email address that you don't have saved in the database.
- Simple user error: you don't see the original profile, so you create a new one.
In these cases, merging donor profiles is quick and easy!
How to Perform the Merge:
When you come across a duplicate donor, select them for the merge by clicking the downward arrow to the right of the View button.
A box will pop up allowing you to search for the duplicate profile. Enter the name you were searching for again. Note that the original profile you selected for the merge will be automatically excluded, because you can't merge someone with themselves!
Once you've selected the donor to merge with, you will be taken to the merge screen. This page will show you all of the donor data for both profiles side by side. You will have to choose one donor to "keep". All of the duplicate donor's donations, letters, interactions, volunteer history and emails will be merged into the kept profile.
Generally, you want to choose the profile that is the most accurate. Assuming that you have done a good job of record keeping, this is usually the older of the two profiles, the one with the earliest "Donor Since" date. However, it doesn't actually matter which one you keep, as long as you transfer all of the correct information to the kept profile. For example:
The profile on the right is not only older, it has more information. The spouse's name is present, and there's a company name and home phone number. However, the profile on the left has a cell phone number we don't have. So we choose to keep the right hand profile, and use the middle buttons to transfer any missing information to the right hand side.
Once satisfied, simply scroll to the bottom of the screen and Submit the data. This will move all relevant data to the kept profile, update it with any data you keep from the duplicate one, and then delete the duplicate profile from the database.