Working with Contacts

Working with Contacts

There are three built-in contact types that deliver with CiviCRM: Individual, Household, and Organization. You can use these contact types as well as create your own contact subtypes based off these three main types. For more information on creating additional contact subtypes such as Volunteer or Student, see Create a Contact SubType.


IMPORTANT!

It's important to note that the main contact type in CiviCRM is the Individual. You then create relationships between the individual and his or her Household and/or Organization.


Managing Contacts

Create a New Contact Subtype

CiviCRM allows you to create contact subtypes based off the three core contact types. Subtypes are useful for organizing your data, but most importantly, custom data can be assigned specifically to a given subtype. For example, you want to track information that is particular only to your board members. You can create a contact subtype of Individual: Board Member and a custom data field set that is used for Individual: Board Member. The data assigned to that subtype will appear on contact records for that subtype ONLY.

As CiviCRM provides several ways to organize data (please review groups, tags and custom data), you will want to examine what you want to do with your data to make the most informed choice of which organizational route you want to take. You are not limited to a single choice, but each choice has different assets.

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Administer → Customize Data and Screens → Contact Types. You now see the Contact Types page.
  2. Click the Add Contact Type button.
  3. Enter the name for the new contact type in the Name field.
  4. Select the Basic Contact Type that this contact type will be associated with in the drop–down.
  5. You can upload an image and set it as your own icon, if you wish. Enter the path to the image file for this contact type in the Image URL field. (Click the callout to the right of the field to read more information about using a custom image icon).
  6. Enter a Description, if desired.
  7. Make sure that Enabled? is selected.
  8. Click the Save button to save the new contact type. You will now have access to this contact type when you create a new contact.

Add a Contact: Organizations & Households

The entry forms for organizations and households are almost identical.

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Contacts → New Organization or Contacts → New Household. A blank New Organization or New Household form now appears.

    There are several sections running down the form that hold various types of information. They include:

    • Contact Details: Includes general contact fields such as Name, Legal Name, SIC Code, Contact Type, Phone, Email, Website.

      IMPORTANT!

      There is a unique field to the far right on the name row called Edit Sort Name. This field allows you to enter an alternate name for the organization or household for sorting purposes. This is useful for returning reports and search results alphabetically.


      Example: For mailing purposes you want the Household Name to read “Mr. & Mrs. John Doe” but for reporting purposes you want the Sort Name to read “Doe, Mr. & Mrs. John” so the report will be correctly alphabetized.

    • Custom Data: Includes any custom data fields that you have created for your organization content type. (If there are not custom data fields for this contact type, this section will not appear.)
    • Address: Includes standard address fields.
    • Communication Preferences: Includes options for various modes of communication as well as the mailing label CiviCRM token and a check-box to opt that organization or household out of bulk emails.
    • Notes: Includes a Subject and Notes fields. Once the organization or household record is saved, additional notes are added through the Notes tab in View mode.
    • Tags and Groups: Includes any built-in or custom Groups and Tags
  2. If you wish to enter data into all of these areas, click the Expand all tabs link on the upper right above the Contact Details box to expand all sections before you begin.
  3. Fill in the form as necessary. If a field allows for more than a single entry, there is an Add link available. (Add Address in the case of the Address section).
  4. To add an additional entry for a given field, click the Add or Add Address link.
  5. Designate which is the Primary option for each field.
  6. Scroll to the top or bottom of the page.
  7. Click the Save button to save the organization.

Add a Contact: Individual

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Contacts → New Individual. A blank New Individual form now appears.

    There are several sections running down the form that hold various types of information. They include:

    • Contact Details: Includes general contact fields such as First Name, Last Name, Current Employer, Email, Phone, etc.

    • IMPORTANT!

      The Current Employer field is a unique field. Typing in this field not only searches the database for a corresponding record, but once selected and saved, CiviCRM automatically creates a relationship between the individual and the organization.


    • Custom Data: Includes any custom data fields that you have created for your organization content type.
    • Address: Includes standard address fields.
    • Communication Preferences: Includes options for various modes of communication as well as the mailing label CiviCRM token and a check-box to opt that organization out of bulk emails.
    • Notes: Includes a Subject and Notes fields. Once the individual record is saved, additional notes are added through the Notes tab in View mode.
    • Tags and Groups: Includes any built-in or custom Groups and Tags
  2. If you wish to enter data into all of these areas, click the Expand all tabs link on the upper right above the Contact Details box to expand all sections before you begin.
  3. Fill in the form as necessary.
  4. If a field allows for more than a single entry, there is an Add link (Add Address in the case of the Address section) available (Phone, Email, Address, etc.).

  5. To add an additional entry for a given field, click the Add or Add Address link.
  6. Designate which is the Primary option for each field.
  7. Scroll to the top or bottom of the page.
  8. Click the Save button to save the individual.

Search for a Contact

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Search → Find Contacts. You now see the Find Contacts page. You can search for contacts based on:
    • a name or email address
    • the contact type (individual, household, organization)
    • a group
    • a tag
  2. Enter the name or email in the Name or Email field. (If you are searching for multiple contacts use the Contact Type, Group or Tag drop–downs to expand your search.)
  3. Click the Search button. The search results now appear below the search form.

Using the Quick Search Feature

CiviCRM gives you a fast, easy way to search on a single record – the Quick Search box.

  1. On the Administration Menu, click to put your cursor into the Quick Search box on the far left.
  2. Begin typing the name of the contact.
  3. This field is a searchable field. As soon as you begin typing, CiviCRM will begin searching for a match.
    Once the match is found:

  4. Select the match. The Contact record will open in View mode.

View an Existing Contact

  1. Search for the contact using one of the Search features (See Search for a Contact).
  2. Click the name of the contact on the left-hand side, or the View link on the right-hand side of the contact's row. You now have access to review all information for this contact.
  3. Click any of the following tabs:
    • Summary (general contact information),
    • Contributions
    • Pledges
    • Memberships
    • Events
    • Activities
    • Relationships
    • Groups
    • Notes
    • Tags
    • Change Log

  4. Each tab allows you to review and create new items.
  5. On the Summary tab, click the Edit button to switch to Edit mode.

Edit an Existing Contact

  1. Search for the contact using one of the Search features (See Search for a Contact).
  2. Click the Edit link on the right-hand side of the contact's row.
  3. You are now in Edit mode for this contact. Edit mode allows you to edit the general information for the contact, including primary Contact Details, Address information, Communication Preferences, Tags and Group, and any custom data.

  4. Edit the information as necessary.
  5. Click the Save button to save your changes.