I have entered about 5000 contacts and i want to add some of these contacts to a smart group. This smart group is a list of our paying members. How to add individuals from the list of contacts to a smart group? i ihave done Contacts>Manage Groups. Then i select the particular Group (which is called BI Members). This gives me a list of contact who are already members (with the help of a co-worker who left the organization). Then i select "add contacts to BI Members". i enter a name of a contact and it appears in the list. i select and hit add. but the contact is not added to this smart group.

  • Welcome to CiviCRM.SE. Are you certain you understand the difference between a regular group and a smart group? You cannot directly add contacts to a smart group, basically by definition.
    – choster
    Dec 4, 2017 at 4:47
  • 1
    You 'can' add contacts directly to a Smart Group, but they will remain in the group even if the criteria change. But otherwise it may help if you explain why you want people added to a Smart Group that do not meet the 'search criteria'. As stated by others a 'smart group' is just a 'saved search'. If you need to add contacts to the group directly, you should be fine to do that too so long as you understand the difference
    – petednz - fuzion
    Dec 4, 2017 at 20:45

3 Answers 3


If you want to use a smart group (because it automatically keeps itself updated based on certain criteria) you start by doing a search. In your case, find all people with a membership (Search > Advanced Search). Then you save your search as a smart group by selecting all the results and in Actions > Create Smart Group. Then give it a name and it will keep itself updated for you. As others mentioned, if you want to add people manually, then you would create a regular group, not a smart group to keep it clean and simple.


Scroll down to the area on adding/removing members manually. This should allow you to do this:



Are you sure the scheduled job to rebuild the smart groups is switched on? THat might help! And as stated before, you should not add members to a smart group manually, that should only be done to a static old-fashioned manual group!

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