How do I import a list of contacts into the CRM/CSS?

The Bulk Data Import module allows users to import large amounts of data into the CRM/CSS. Users can not only add constituent records but also create correspondence for the records while importing them. 

Formatting Your Data 

Before importing your data, it’s very important to format your data correctly.

1. The only two types of files that can be imported are CSV (comma separated values) and TXT (text) files. We recommend using an Excel document saved as a CSV file. 

2. To format a CSV file properly, it is important to avoid the following “Forbidden characters”: !@#$%^&*()_+=?/><.,”:;{}[].

To begin a bulk data import, first click on Workspace, then expand Utilities, and select Bulk Data Import.

1. Click the Browse button and select the file you wish to upload.

2. Select the correct Input File Type. (The default is CSV, but TXT is also available).

3. Select the correct Field Delimiter. (The default is Comma for a CSV file. While this is the norm, we also support Tab delimiting, which some TXT files use.)

4. If the import needs to have correspondence created for all of the constituent records that are uploaded, check the Insert Activities box. (If an interaction with the office is being recorded or letters will be sent, an activity is typically created.)

5. To easily access this record in the future, create a query that will appear in the Advanced Search module. Check the Create Advanced Search Query check box, and then name the advanced search. (If there are no activities being created with this import, then there is no need to type anything in the Activity Query field).

6.Choose the appropriate criteria for finding constituents who are already in the database and merging the imported records with them in the “Find Constituent” dropdown menu. (Only select all three criteria for small list uploads in which all of the information is included.)

7. Select the Upload and Import Data button. A count of all the records imported will display along the top of the “Bulk Data Import” screen.

Mapping Fields

The field mappings will also appear in a box below the upload button. If the column header does not correspond exactly with the property name, you will need to match your file column name with the correct property name.

1. Click on the blank cell next to the appropriate property name to see a drop-down menu with all of the column headers your document currently has.

2. Select the corresponding file column name. For example, if the column name in your CSV spreadsheet is entitled “street address,” it will need to be matched with the property name “Street1.”

3. After correcting the field mappings, click on the Apply Mapping to Data button, which will finalize the imported data.

4. Once the mapping is complete, the button Import will appear in its place. Select Import to import your data. The size of the list upload will determine how long the process will take to complete. If "Insert Activities" was selected, the activities will appear in the Inbox.

5. To confirm that your data imported successfully, navigate to the Advanced Search to view your new records.

NOTE: Very large imports (5,000+ records) should alwasy go through the helpdesk. Simply email the CSV or TXT file to

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