I'm importing education history for each Individual Contact, which can have from 0 to 5+ sets of multi-records. Each set of multi-records comprises [institution], [degree level], [degree name], and [grad year].

The level, name, and year are custom fields that show up in the multi-import wizard. The institutions are already imported as Organization Contacts with their own external IDs, and I have a relationship set up between individuals and educational orgs (much in the same way as employees would be related to employers).

However I don't see a way in the multi-record import wizard to relate a set of education multi records with the corresponding institution's External ID. Is there a way to do this in the wizard?

If not, is there a way to do it directly in MySQL? (Though I hesitate to muck with the guts, since last time I changed some seemingly innocuous data, the site got corrupted.)

With hundreds of records to import and limited manpower, a manual process is likely not feasible.

  • I have the same issue. Did you every get a solution for importing mulit-record custom data sets matching to External ID instead of internal ID? Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 12:10
  • I actually moved away from CiviCRM shortly after my original post, but Ron's answer below would seem to help your situation
    – flopsquad
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 0:11

1 Answer 1


We are upgrading from CiviCRM 4.6 to 4.7.17. The Eternal ID is now available for matching to contact records for importing multi-record custom data sets. I just completed a test and the import worked fine and matched using the External ID.

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