Import changes to existing contacts

You can make changes to existing contacts using the import process. Only certain data can be updated in this way.

Prepare your spreadsheet

  • Start by exporting your existing contacts using the export process described in the Export data article. This helps by giving you the correct column names and the ID number for existing contacts. 
  • Aside from the ID column, which must always be present, include only the columns containing data you wish to update.
  • Include only the contacts that you wish to update.
  • Include only columns that can be updated through the import process.

What data can be updated through the import process?

To understand more about the following items, watch the Prepare your contacts for import video.


  • Title
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Gift Aid
  • Appear in directories
  • Field: [label]
  • Groups
  • Communication type
  • Mandate


  • Name
  • Appear in directories
  • Field: [label]
  • Groups
  • Mandate

Existing groups, mandates, and communication types will all be removed before any new ones are added, if the column is present.

Upload a CSV

Save each of your contact lists (Organisations and People) as separate CSV files.

To import people go to Contacts > People > Actions> Import people

To import organisations go to Contacts > Organisations > Actions > Import organisations

Upload a file to the system and wait for it to be checked. If there are any errors these will be displayed on-screen. You will then need to work through your original file to resolve each error. Repeat this process until there are no more errors and the contacts are imported.

Troubleshoot errors

If your file will not import due to errors, please refer to this troubleshooting guide.

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