An organization I volunteer for is considering this software solution. I need to see the files and fields in those files to see how they match to our current system. A brief description of the purpose of the file would be appreciated also. We have about 70,000 records. I'm a software developer, so detail would be appreciated. A large percentage of our records are imported from a voter file provided by the Secretary of State, so voter info needs to be captured. These would need to be matched to the current file and data replaced.

I'm also interested in

  1. match/merge of duplicate records;
  2. capabilities of selecting subsets of contact files based on things like member type, zip code, has email address (or not);
  3. import and export capabilities;
  4. custom fields - how easy to add and maintain?.

No doubt I'll have more questions after I learn more.

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    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you're new to CiviCRM - Welcome to the community. Here's a link to the CiviCRM data architecture page on the CiviCRM wiki.

You can create multiple custom fields in CiviCRM so you should be able create the fields you need for your existing data. During import you can choose which fields get imported and which CiviCRM field they get mapped to.

For match/merge of duplicate records - see: Deduping and Merging

For capabilities of selecting subsets of contact files based on things like member type, zip code, has email address (or not) - see: Searching and Groups & tags

I've mentioned import already - there there various way to export data, including Exporting Contacts

You should try out the demo(s) or better still, download it and create a sandbox to explore CiviCRM's functionality.

  • 2
    Sanjay posts some good links. Some additional feedback: The "data architecture" page isn't terribly helpful. You should assume you'll want to add custom fields. Custom fields are very easy to add and maintain (it happens in the web UI). Collecting subsets of contact files based on member type, zip code, etc. is all very easy; deduping is robust and you can define your own dedupe rules. Import and export are present - but if you're doing a serious project, you should consider using the API, or at least the CSV API command line tools. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:07

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