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Using the NPSP 3 Converter Utility: Technical Best Practices

By March 15, 2016

By: Justin Barss, Senior Support Manager, Now It Matters

Let’s just say it out loud: the NPSP 3 Converter Utility is awesome. It does most of the “heavy” lifting of moving your donor contacts out of old One-to-One Account Model and old Household objects and places them (and their Donations!) into the newly created Household Accounts. That being said ― it’s a power tool ― and like any good power tool in your garage, or house, you need to adjust to it. Take a peek at these reports below as a way to review and prepare your data in Salesforce to confirm you are ready to use that sweet Converter to power through your old One-to-One Accounts and move your Contacts and Donations into a sweetly unified Household Account.

The only Contact records the Converter will evaluate are those connected directly to a Household record:

  • i.e. Contacts that are “in” a Household
  • Any Opportunities connected via Contact Role to a Contact in a Household
  • Any Opportunities connected via standard Opportunity_Account lookup field that is a one-to-one account connected to a Contact in a Household.

To ensure the converter runs smoothly, we’ve put together suggestions for reports to run before and after to keep your data clean and to make the process as easy as possible.


Contacts, Tasks owned by Inactive Users. Task and Contact Records owned by Inactive Users.
How to use: These records will typically block the converter from completing. This means you’ll need to locate Inactive Users and run a report (see example below) to see which records fit this scenario.
You then can move forward with the Account Conversion Utility by taking one of two actions:

  • If you have additional Salesforce Licenses available – you may be able to “re-activate” those users – in Salesforce – as the simplest work around to this issue.
  • The other option is transferring these records from the Inactive Owner – to a current Active User. You can do that via the Setup–>Mass Transfer Records option or by using a data tool like Apsona.

Screenshot showing Contacts owned by Inactive Users:

Contacts owned by Inactive Users

Opportunities without Contact Roles.
This is a useful report to run to check that the Donations/Opportunities you expect to see attributed to specific people / accounts have converted correctly.

How to use: If there are Opportunities in your system that should be attributed to a Contact, then it is expected that they should have an Opportunity Contact Role record under that Opportunity and the Primary checkbox would be checked. This report will allow you to identify Opportunities without a Contact Role and decide – should this Opportunity be linked to a Contact? If so, you can go to that Oppt record and manually add the Oppt Contact Role. If you find a large number of these Opportunities, you can also add an Oppt Contact Role via a bulk uploading tool like Apsona.

Unsaved Report

Contacts without Households.

How to use: If no household, the Contact will not convert. The Household object is the magical record that the converter uses to create the new Household Account. Hence – if your Contacts don’t have the Household Lookup field populated, they are not “in” a Household, and will not be pulled out of their one-to-one accounts and placed in a newly created Household Account.

After making sure the data is ready for the converter, go ahead and run it by following the directions in the Power of Us Hub.

After you run the Household Account Conversion Utility and have set up your NPSP3 Settings as expected. Whew! So you put in a fair amount of hours cleaning up old records and are now on the other side of the conversion process. You even ran the converter a few extra times to confirm that it correctly ran and adjusted all of the data in question. Now it’s time to do some final clean up to get your data in ship shape condition.

Here are a few reports to run to help you isolate and understand what data may still need to be cleaned up:

Run After:

Cases attached to One-to-One Accounts
If you are using Cases in your instance, the Case would be directly related to the One-to-One Account for those Contacts. The Conversion Utility does not move Cases – so after the Converter is completed, those cases still reference those One-to-One Accounts. Run this report to identify which case these are. Cases WITH Accounts WHERE Record Type = One-to-One Account.

One to One Accounts

(The easiest way I found to solve this was when there were Cases that had the Contact Name field updated). If you clear the value of the Account Name field to null, then the case references the Contact and uses the Account that that Contact is in and updates the field that way. If you are using a data management tool like Apsona, I was able to run a filter view of these cases, bulk update them all so that Account Name equals null and the case-auto updated with the correct (newly created Account).

Oppts attached to One-to-One Accounts.
This includes the same scenario as above- but with the understanding that some Opportunities may have not been captured and adjusted by the converter. This may be because the Contact in the Contact Role didn’t have a Household, or there were two Primary Contact Roles on the Opportunity, or the Opportunity was directly linked to an orphaned One-to-One Account (the Donation was logged to a person’s One-to-One Account even after you moved the Contact to a different Account). Run an Opportunities report where you are sorting on the Organization Record Type or _SYSTEM: AccountType field. Use the filters in the screenshot as a tip and see if there are any Opportunities in your Org that did not get moved correctly.

Linked Oppts

Bonus: Tasks, Events, Notes, Custom Objects you may be using connected to the Household or One-to-One Account object.
If your staff (current or past) were relying on the Household custom object or the One-to-One Account to record specific records to it, you will want to be sure you move these records to the newly created Household Accounts. Cross Filter Report – any Tasks, Events, Notes, under Household. Cross Filter Report – any Tasks, Events, Oppts under One-to-One Account

Learn more about Upgrading to NPSP3