Batch Gift Entry Options for the Nonprofit Success Pack
Batch Gift Entry Options for the Nonprofit Success Pack

Batch Gift Entry Options for the Nonprofit Success Pack

04/24/2020 by Hayley Tuller
Help for the happy problem of having a lot of gifts you need to enter — fast!

One question I always get from my nonprofit clients when they first begin using Salesforce is “Where’s the Batch Gift Entry?” For those of you on the for-profit side who may find yourself doing pro-bono work with your favorite nonprofit, you may not realize, but LOTS of donors still give by… check.  Or (gasp!) even cash.  

In order to be sure these funds are quickly and accurately entered with the minimum of staff time, most nonprofit fundraising software includes a utility to enter these gifts in “batches.”  A key feature of any Batch Gift Entry (BGE) tool is the ability to enter data “mouse free,” or to tab through a set of fields for rapid keying.  Batches of gift records can also be tied to batches of journal entries in the organization’s accounting ledger, making resolving the books quicker and easier. 

Until fairly recently, the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) didn’t have a batch gift entry tool.  This has resulted in the development of third-party purpose-built options out there as well as clever Admins adapting tools built for other purposes to the task.  Today, alongside the NPSP included feature, there are a host of options out there to manually enter a lot of gifts in a hurry.  Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, so finding the right fit for your organization can be confusing.  In this post, I’ll outline four common and representative options to get you started on the path to batch entry bliss. 

NPSP Batch Gift Entry

Let’s start with the King of them all,’s shiny, new Batch Gift Entry feature.  This tool has all the basic required features: mouse-free entry, a running tally of gifts for batch control, and even matching to existing constituents AND gifts that may already be in the system.  You will have to enable MyDomain in order to set it up, as well as ensure users of the feature have all the required access, but .Org has a handy checklist to walk you through the process.

The “Pros”

It’s free!  Did I mention it’s free?  Because it is!  BGE is included in the NPSP and available to anyone in the Power of Us program.  It’s also easy to set up following the checklist, and it’s easy for most users to learn.  I think for most nonprofits with a straightforward use case, it meets most if not all of their needs

The “Cons”

NPSP BGE can’t access EVERY child object of the opportunity… at least not yet.  This means that while you can batch enter things like Opportunity Contact Roles in order to manage your soft credits quickly and easily, you can’t access some standard objects like Opportunity Products or any custom objects.  If you use products to track goods or services you “sell” like event tickets or memberships, then standard NPSP BGE probably won’t cut the mustard for your use case.

It’s worth noting that I said “not yet.”  Remember, BGE, like all of the NPSP, is an open-source product, so it’s ever-changing and growing.  Indeed, recently announced they are offering previews of the next generation of this tool, to be called “Gift Entry” (dropping the “batch”), which includes flexible templates, unlimited GAU allocations, and enhanced matching and validation, among other features.  More to come!

NPSP Data Import

If you’re not familiar with the NPSP data migration tool called -- predictably -- the “NPSP Data Importer,” you’re missing out. This feature set has really gotten the glow up in recent months, allowing for declarative mapping to custom fields and objects.  Gone are the days of using byzantine passages in the help text field to map your data for import.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to… ah, you sweet summer child, consider yourself lucky.  

You can read all about this amazing feature set at Power of Us, and there really isn’t space here to give it the full treatment, but suffice it to say the NPSP Data Importer is a great way to enter large batches of constituent and gift data quickly. 

“The Pros”

Like NPSP BGE, this is a free tool included with the NPSP.  Unlike NPSP BGE, it’s ridiculously flexible.  Thanks to advanced mapping, it's possible to bulk upload to any object that’s a child of the opportunity, so it’s a good fit for entering gift data that includes products or other custom objects.  For a lot of organizations, it’s a great compliment to standard NPSP BGE for those peskier but occasionally more complicated use cases.

“The Cons” 

Unlike NPSP BGE, setting up advanced mapping and using the NPSP Data Importer is more challenging to learn; I would characterize it as an Admin function, and for many Admins it’s not the first or most basic thing they will learn how to do.  It’s not realistic to expect your gift officers or their staff to use this tool routinely to enter basic gifts.  In these cases, the burden of gift entry work will fall on the Admin.

Apsona Batch Gift Entry

Now we come to the Third Party or Independent Software Vendor (ISV) options.  Because BGE is such a foundational function to nonprofits, before it was widely available as a part of the NPSP, many ISVs moved into the gap with custom, purpose-built batch entry programs.  By “purpose-built,” I mean the idea that the software was expressly developed for that specific purpose, rather than adapted from some other purpose to get the job done.  

Apsona BGE is an excellent representation of this class of solutions.  It’s been around for a long time, and the Apsona suite of products has a pretty enthusiastic fan base in the nonprofit community.  Apsona BGE is actually an add-on to their popular Apsona for Salesforce app, which is a collection of data management tools geared towards Admins. It will do a lot more than BGE, so if you’re also looking for an advanced reporting tool, a mass emailer, a de-duper, and more, Apsona for Salesforce might be your winner. 

“The Pros”

Apsona BGE is built expressly for batch gift entry, so it has an interface any gift officer will resonate with, making it comparatively easy to learn.  It’s also quite powerful; an Apsona administrator can map BGE to any standard child object of the Opportunity... including the coveted opportunity products.

“The Cons”

Like nearly all ISV products out there, it is a paid application.  It depends on Apsona for Salesforce to work, so you will have to purchase both the base application and the BGE add-on.  This may not be much of a con if you’re already in the market for a general administrative tool, though.  I’d also characterize the learning curve on the Admin side as moderately steep — there’s a power here, but with that comes a lot of settings to get “right.”  Finally, although it’s not inhibiting to function, I don’t personally think the interface is all that attractive to look at.  It could definitely use a facelift and be made to look a bit less busy. 

Conga Grid

Our final category of options is ISV applications developed for other uses that happen to work for BGE.  Representing this group is Conga Grid (formerly known as Conga Action Grid).  Conga Grid, like other similar programs, allows Admins to build “grids” or actionable, editable matrices from existing record sets.  

Think of it as something like a list view but on steroids.  In Conga Grid, data can be formatted and represented in a near-endless host of ways, and paired with mass quick actions and in-line editing.  “Grids” can be deployed as app pages, so it’s possible to create a Grid that you deploy to your gift offers with all the pre-formatted, tabbable columns they need for gift entry.  

“The Pros”

Conga Grid is a standalone app, so there’s no need to buy a parent application as there is with Apsona.  It’s also a solution akin to having a hammer — suddenly every problem looks like a nail!  You can use it for BGE, but you can use it for so much more.  It’s attractive interface is easy to use once you get the hang of it, and Conga has tons of interactive and free training at Conga University.

“The Cons”

Like Apsona, this is a paid app, so there are costs involved.  Probably more importantly, it’s not a purpose-built BGE tool, so the interface may not  be intuitive to your users.  It will take some training for them to get the hang of it.  Finally, unless you build something custom, there’s no out-of-the-box batch control features like batch numbers or records.  


This is by no means an exhaustive list of every option out there to perform batch gift entry, but rather a curated set meant to represent what kind of choices you have when deciding on how you want to handle BGE.  Of course, the constellation of Salesforce applications is ever growing, so it pays to always be on the lookout for the next big thing.  Finally, if you’re looking for a feature set that you haven’t yet found, you have a darn good reason to get involved in the NPSP Open Source Community.  Maybe your ideas will be highlighted in the next feature announcement!

Do you perform Batch Gift Entry?  What do YOU use?  What features do you wish you had? Tell me all about it in the comments below, in the Trailblazer Community, or tweet directly at me on Twitter @hayleytuller.