How to import contacts

Enjoy the convenience of having all your contacts in one place! Upload a CSV, copy and paste, or type directly into the import table.

Alyssa avatar
Written by Alyssa
Updated over a week ago

Our import tool helps you add contacts to Givebutter. Upload a comma-separated value (CSV) file, copy and paste contacts from a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or type info directly into the import table.

Givebutter needs some basic information about your contacts to create new files for them. Data formatting of this nature is traditionally a time-consuming step. To help you prepare your data, you can download a customized template from your dashboard that automatically includes any custom fields you have created.

Download a template πŸ“‹

There are two types of templates you can use for importing contacts. We recommend the following steps to download a personalized, dynamic template specific to your account, but you can also view and download a generic template. The generic template will not include contact custom fields from your account.

  • In your Givebutter dashboard, click on Contacts (located under Track).

  • Click on Actions in the upper right corner of the page.

  • Click Download Template from the dropdown menu and choose the format you prefer. Click Download.

The file will save to your computer, usually in your downloads folder, or on your desktop.

Enter your data πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

Open the template with the software of your choice, such as Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets, and enter your own data.

If you've downloaded a personalized template, it will include one row of example data for John Doe. Be sure to delete that info before you upload your finished file!

The file must contain the following columns (in any order):

  • First Name

  • Last Name

The file may contain the following columns (in any order):

  • Middle Name

  • Primary Email

  • Primary Phone Number – Can be formatted with or without the a 1 at the beginning, and with or without dashes

  • Address Line 1 – If one address field has a value, all address fields must have a value. For example, if country code and zip code have a value, then address 1, city, and state must also contain a value. A contact with an incomplete address will fail to import.

  • Address Line 2 – Optional

  • City

  • State

  • ZIP Code

  • Country Code – 3-digit or 2-digit country code allowed. (You cannot write an entire country name here, ie. "United States of America" must be "USA". This does not refer to a phone number area code.)

  • Email addresses – alternate emails for your contact, separated by a comma if there are multiple email addresses

  • Phone Numbers – additional phone numbers for your contact, add multiples separated by a comma, can be formatted with or without the a 1 at the beginning, and with or without dashes

  • Date of Birth – MM/DD/YY or MM/DD/YYYY format

  • Company

  • Title

  • Twitter URL – Two formats are acceptable: the entire URL or /handle

  • Linkedin URL – Two formats are acceptable: the entire URL or /handle

  • Facebook URL – Two formats are acceptable: the entire URL or /handle

  • Tags – Apply tags to new contacts, to apply multiple tags, separate by a comma

  • Notes

  • Email Subscription Status – Use true/on/yes/1 and to unsubscribe they can use false/off/no/0 (If left blank, contacts will import as subscribed by default.)

  • Phone Subscription Status – Use true/on/yes/1 and to unsubscribe they can use false/off/no/0 (If left blank, contacts will import as subscribed by default.)

  • Contact custom fields – The contact import template download is dynamic, which means it will include any contact custom fields you created prior to download. Enter custom field answers under the relevant columns. The answer format will vary depending on the type of contact custom field:

    • Text – Text input of either short answers or paragraph style

    • Number – Numeric value, as a whole number or a percentage

    • Date – A single date (YYYY-MM-DD), or a range (YYYY-MM-DD,YYYY-MM-DD)

    • Toggle – yes/no

    • Option – Multiple choice list, which can be restricted to one choice (example), or allow multiple selections (example1|example2).

Worried about creating duplicates? Our system is able to identify existing contacts using first and last name, plus a matching email or phone number.

Save your file πŸ“

We recommend using "save as" so that you can create a unique file name that's easy to find during the upload process. You can also export as a CSV.

Upload your data ⬆️

  • Under Account in the menu on the left side of your dashboard, click on Imports.

  • Click on the blue New Import button, and select Contacts.

You can also import contacts directly from the Contacts page! It's the same process. Click Actions in the upper right corner of the Contacts page, and select New Import.

  • Choose Upload data from file, and select the correct file from your computer.

  • Choose whether your file has a header row (if you used your personalized template download, it will have a header row).

This is a header row – it includes a heading for the column below to organize data.

  • Confirm mapping for each field on the next screen. Mapped data should match up across the document.

    • You can also choose to ignore columns, if they are not relevant.

    • If you need to assign data to a different column, click the drop-down arrow.

    • For example, your First Name column should automatically map to First Name, but if it's mapping to Email Address, you'd want to edit that to match.

  • Scroll all the way down and click the blue Review button.

  • If everything looks good, click the blue Continue button, and click Yes on the confirmation screen.

submit import

After your import is complete, you will receive an email confirmation from Givebutter. If the import failed, follow the directions provided in our email to reconcile any errors. To track the status of your import, navigate to Account in the left-hand menu on your dashboard, and click on Imports.

Please note that once you submit your import for upload, it is not possible to reverse the import if you did not add the mapping correctly. Incorrectly mapped data will need to be manually archived. Always double check your mappings before confirming the import!

FAQ πŸ€”

I made a mistake with my import! Can I bulk archive my contacts?

Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to remove an entire import from your account yourself. You are welcome to contact our team for assistance with this.

Can contact households or relationships be imported?

Not currently – please see our feature requests for importing households, and add a vote if this is an option you'd like to see in the future!

I don't want to import a spreadsheet. How do I manually add contact import data?

You can manually enter data following the same steps listed above – instead of selecting a file to import from your computer, use the blank spreadsheet provided on the same screen to manually enter your data.


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