Data collected by Harness currently flows ONE-WAY out from Harness into your CRM/other systems (ex: MailChimp, Quickbooks, Salesforce, etc. - learn more about integrations).

While Harness functions as a "lightweight CRM" (donor management system), it is unlike a traditional CRM with importing ability (ex: external donation information, donor data, offline gifts, etc). Most of our partners use an official CRM (or Excel doc) as their main hub of donation/donor tracking and manually/automatically import donor/donation data from Harness into their CRM.


The best way to transition current monthly donors from other systems to create monthly gifts within Harness is through this guide.

We've also created guides to attract new donors & launch to donors.


Harness does not offer mass importing of data from external systems into Harness's Admin Dashboard. Want this as a feature? Submit your request here.


  • Imported donors do not know they are being added to a 3rd party system and so cannot consent to receive text messages. Because of this, there is a significantly increased text opt-out rate for donors who are imported. Once donors opt out of text messages, it's very challenging to get them to opt back in.

  • Donors who receive a text message (especially if it's a donation solicitation) from an unknown number from a charity they likely have either never heard from via text and/or haven't received a call from in a long time often respond negatively, defeating the intention/purpose of a gratifying touchpoint.

  • Our system has no way of verifying an imported contact's phone number is a valid cell phone number (not a landline) & as text messages can't be received by a landline number, it would be poor stewardship to spend $ for texts that couldn't be successfully received.

  • Text messages are best used as an additional stewardship tool after a donor gives to share important updates, testimonials & more rather than an initial donation acquisition tool.

How do I talk to my donors then?

All of our partners have successfully communicated with their donors (without imports) by simply copying & pasting their Harness fundraising links into their current/usual channels (social media posts, emails, etc.) alongside a message like, "We've made it even easier for you to give & stay in the know about how you're making a difference. Click here [hyperlinked Harness fundraising link]." Check out some other launch language examples here.


While we definitely encourage your donors to sign up organically through your donation pages (they can "register" in the upper right corner of your donation pages), you can add basic contacts individually through your Harness Admin Dashboard CONTACTS tab > Manage Contacts > Add Contact.

*Email address is required. Please do not input fake/dud email addresses as we send email receipts of donations to all donors. If a phone number is added, donors will be automatically signed up to receive text messages. Donors can opt-out of texts by replying STOP to any message they receive at any time to be automatically unsubscribed from all messages.


When you manually add individual contacts this way, there are a few important things to consider:

  • The opt-out rate for donors who have been imported vs signing up organically through your donation forms is significantly higher. It is very challenging to get a donor to opt back "in" to texting once they've opted out.

  • These donors DO NOT KNOW they have been imported into Harness's system, so if they attempt to make a donation for the first time through your Harness fundraising pages by entering in their email, they will see a message saying "That email is already registered. Please log in" where they'll be prompted to "set/reset a password" instead of "create a new account" - which could cause confusion or concern.

  • These donors will automatically be subscribed to receive text messages, however, they WILL NOT receive the initial "welcome" automatic text message with our contact card so they can easily identify who is reaching out to them and save your number easily in their phone. When you do text them, please ensure your organization name is in the body of the text so they'll know who they're receiving a message from as this will be an unrecognized number to them.

  • These donors will NOT receive Harness's automatic "Welcome to Your Donor Dashboard" email giving them quick & easy access to their personal Donor Dashboard.

  • You cannot customize the contact information you enter (ex: email required).

  • The numbers you input cannot be verified as cell phone vs landline. Please verify the number you are entering is a donor's cell phone number to ensure text messages can be successfully delivered.

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