Prepare people and organisation contacts for import

This article will help you understand how to prepare your list of People and Organisation contacts so that you can import them smoothly and retain necessary details about their membership subscription and other characteristics.

Google Sheet template

Access the template Google Sheet

Your contact data must be prepared in the prescribed format using this template. To create a copy of this template go to the File menu and choose Download.


  • If you plan to import Organisations and link people with organisations, these organisations must be imported first, before people.
  • Data about individual people should be added to the People tab of the import spreadsheet.
  • Once your file is prepared, proceed to upload your spreadsheet of contacts.

Formatting guidance for specific fields

Many fields require specific formatting. This is specified in a note on the title cell of each column in the import template. Columns without a note will accept all standard letters, numbers and symbols.

Key considerations:

  • You must configure all referenced GroupsMembership plans, Communication types and Custom fields before you can assign them to contacts during the import process. Search the help centre for more information on each of those areas.
  • First and last name (for people) or Organisation name (for organisations) are required.
  • Email addresses are not required but if present they must be unique.
  • Address line 1 is required for importing addresses.
  • Dates must be in the format YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Multiple values in a single cell should be separated with the pipe | character.
  • When importing membership subscriptions, the renewal date should be in the future and the payment method should be Manual unless you are also importing an existing GoCardless mandate ID.

Custom fields

Each custom field is represented by a column at the end of the import spreadsheet. The template includes a few examples like ‘Field: Industry’ and ‘Field: Date of birth’. These example column names should be deleted and replaced with any custom fields you require, naming these columns ‘Field: [Name of custom field]’. 

Video guidance

This video explains how to prepare your people contacts for import.

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