Getting Started: What to Expect During the Onboarding Process


Now that you’ve signed up, it’s time to begin the onboarding process. Onboarding is the brief period of time you’ll have access to a dedicated Onboarding Specialist to guide your team through your data migration, setting up your fundraising pages and getting the most out of your Kindful account.

Linked Articles:

Getting Started in Kindful: Part 1

Getting Started Part 2: Start Migrating!

Getting Started Part 3: Start Fundraising!

Getting Started Part 4: Start Growing!

What is an Onboarding Specialist?

Getting started with a new donor management system is exciting, but can also be a little overwhelming. Our Onboarding Team was created to ensure that our new customers feel confident about using Kindful. The Onboarding Specialist who is assigned to your account is your primary contact during your onboarding period. Our goal is to set your organization up for success! 

Length of the Onboarding Period

Our Basic onboarding packages start with a 30 day onboarding period. The Standard package includes up to 45 days, and the Custom package is extended up to 60 days. 

Welcome Call/Email

When you first sign up with Kindful, your Onboarding Specialist will give you a quick, introductory call, or email with your initial steps. This article goes into more detail about those steps below.

Kick-Off Call

Once you’ve received that welcome email, your first step is to schedule a Kick-Off Call. This will be a screen share session with your Onboarding Specialist. Ideally, we would love for the people who are most familiar with your data and those who are going to be using Kindful to be included on the Kick-Off Call. The purpose of this call is mainly to discuss the current state of your data, and determine the best plan to bring it all into Kindful.  

Good things to think about before this call:

  • Who in my organization knows our data the best? (Be sure to include these people on the Kick-Off call.)
  • What is the ultimate source of truth for my contact (donor) data, as well as my transaction (donation) data?
  • Do you have recurring transactions you’d like to bring into Kindful? Where are those recurrence schedules stored?
  • Are you planning to use our QuickBooks integration? If so, we’d love to have your accountant on the call, if possible.
  • Are there any other integrations you’d like to connect? Check out what’s available on our integrations page.

If you’re not planning to bring in any historical data, the Kick-Off Call is a great time to review setting up your donation pages and discuss how donations are classified in Kindful. This will help ensure you’re setting up your Campaigns and Funds in the best way for your organization.  

Getting Started Webinar

After your Kick-Off Call, we ask that you watch our Getting Started Webinars. During the webinar, one of our Onboarding Specialists will walk through a detailed overview of Kindful and the different fundraising tools available in your account.

Why do we ask that you watch a webinar before a training session? The webinar provides a foundational understanding of Kindful, which allows your Onboarding Specialists to focus on your specific needs during the Training Session.  


Training Session

Once you’ve had your Kick-Off Call, watched the Getting Started Webinar, and migrated your data, we’ll schedule a Training Session to conclude the onboarding period. We’ll conduct this training session via screen share. We wait until your data is in Kindful to schedule this session so we can work with the data that you’ll be using every day.

The purpose of the Training Session is to go over any specific questions that the webinar may not have answered and help your team strategically implement Kindful into your unique processes. We would love for your team to come prepared with all of your questions!

Access to your Onboarding Specialist

During the onboarding period, you’ll have direct access to your Onboarding Specialist for any questions you may have. They are typically conducting trainings and data analysis during business hours, so the fastest way to get a response is typically via email. 

Once you have completed your onboarding period, access to your Onboarding Specialist will be limited. If you have specific questions about your import, please reach out to your Onboarding Specialist directly. For ongoing questions after the onboarding period, our incredible Support Team will be happy to help! You can reach them via email at or by phone at (888) 854-3230.

Finally, our Help Center houses all of our tutorials and help articles on using various features and trouble-shooting in Kindful. You’re actually in our Help Center right now reading this article - way to go! We’d love for you to bookmark this page. It will be a great resource as you start learning all the incredible things Kindful can do.

Data Migration

There are many ways to bring your historical data into Kindful. Some organizations automatically sync in their data by connecting an integration, while others import spreadsheet files, and some will even do a combination of the two. This process will be discussed in depth with your Onboarding Specialist during your Kick-Off Call. They will also discuss the onboarding package you’ve purchased, which may include importing just contacts and transactions or an advanced import for more complex data types.

Import templates

If you’re importing data via spreadsheets, we’ll need to have that data in the proper format so that our import tool brings in the file(s) to match our data structure. We have templated spreadsheets you can use to import the data into Kindful. Your Onboarding Specialist will be happy to provide an analysis of your data and answer any formatting questions you may have, however we are not able to offer data manipulation or data cleaning services. We require all customers use these spreadsheet templates to ensure their data is imported as cleanly and accurately as possible.  

Once your data is in our templates, we can provide a final analysis before you import your data using our Import Data tool. If you purchased a Standard or Custom onboarding package, we’ll get your finalized files into our import team’s queue, and let you know when your data is ready for you to review in your Sandbox. The Sandbox is a testing environment where you can review your data to see how it will appear in Kindful before it is pushed into your live account!

Duplicate data

If you’re bringing in data from multiple sources, you’re more than likely going to run into duplicate contacts in your account. Have no fear! Our Contact Duplicates tool can detect these duplicates based on multiple criteria. You also have the ability to manually merge contacts in your account. Keep in mind that we do not have a way to find duplicate activities, such as transactions, notes, pledges, non-cash gifts, or soft credits. Duplicate activities will need to be removed from your spreadsheet templates prior to import, especially if they have already synced into Kindful via an integration.

Extracting your data from another system

Here at Kindful, we are experts on our product and our import templates. This expertise is not extended to other software/database products. Our import templates will be excellent guides to reference while you’re exporting your data from another system, but our team will not be able to pull this data from your old system on your behalf.  

At the end of the day, your team is much more knowledgeable about your data and how you keep track of that data. We would never want to jeopardize the integrity of your data, which is why we’re eager to assist you once the data has been exported from your previous system.


If your organization is planning on using our QuickBooks integration, this must be connected before any additional transactional data is imported. We strongly recommend your finance team reviews the QuickBooks integration and is involved in the migration process. The integration works in a very specific way, so it’s important that they have an excellent understanding of how the two systems will communicate prior to connection.

We strongly recommend QuickBooks is connected first because it will dictate your Campaign, Fund, and Designation structure in Kindful based on your Classes, Income Accounts, and Items, respectively. If you have additional transactional data to import after connecting QuickBooks, we’ll use that structure mentioned above to map your data into place. If you set up this structure manually in Kindful or via an import, this structure will not be compatible with QuickBooks, and would require additional clean-up to reconcile this incompatibility. During that process our team has limited capability to support, so it’s best to connect QuickBooks before importing any data.

Get Started

Our team is passionate about our customers increasing their impact. The onboarding process is a fantastic opportunity for your organization to streamline your processes and have a fresh start. We ensure that organizations who take advantage of this period through following our recommendations, consistently communicating with their Onboarding Specialist, and efficiently completing tasks assigned will more easily manage their donors and take their fundraising to the next level. 

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request