CiviCRM - Importing Contacts

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Starting the Import

  • Choose Import Contacts from the Contacts menu


Defining the Import Options

  • Choose Comma-Separated Values (CSV) for the Data Source
  • Check First row contains column headers if the first line in your file is a heading
  • You most likely want Individual for Contact Type if you have first and last names in your file. If you only have Organization names, then choose Organization for the contact type. If you have household names, then choose Household.
  • You probably want to choose Update for for Duplicate Contacts to have it merge duplicate records upon import.
  • Choose a Dedupe rule to define how CiviCRM determines duplicate record matches. Name and Address is a built-in rule that is pretty safe.
  • Choose a date format if you have any date fields in your import file. mm/dd/yyyy is the most common.
  • Click Continue


Mapping your data fields

  • A listing of the fields in your import file is presented along with a preview of the first 2 records.
  • This is to help you map the fields from your import file to CiviCRM contact fields.
  • Look at each field and choose the best place for it to go.
  • CiviCRM will look at the column headings in your import file and try to automatically match up fields based on best guess. You should still review them to make sure it's where you want the data to go.
  • Click Continue


Test Import

  • CiviCRM performs a test import to look for common errors.
  • The results of the test import are displayed. If there are errors, you will be presented with a link to a CSV file you can download and view to read what the errors are. You should try to correct these errors in your import file and re-start the import process before proceeding any further.
  • If no errors are detected...

- Click on the Add imported records to a new group header and type in a name for a group that these imported records will be a part of. This will help later on when you want to reference this set of imported contacts in a search or report. - Click Import Now when you are ready to complete the import.


Import Progress Box

  • A progress box appears displaying the status of the import


Import Finished

  • When you're import is finished, click Done