I have a lot of Organisations, each having their own Administrator(s) who manage their own memberships, events, contributions, activities, ... (that I predefine for them)

I would like those Administrators to be able to make "Multiple Updates" to those (e.g. payments by checks) ; but I don't want them, for security reasons, to use the standard Search features to do that.

As far as I know (am I wrong ?), there is currently no possibility to predefine and store Searches, except for Contacts, via Smart Groups.

My idea would be : since we have the same search possibilities for members, participants, contributions, activities, ..., as for Contacts, it should not be too costly to develop the ability to extend the Smart Group features (including Multiple Update) to those.

What is the best way to have this ability developped (I am not personally a programmer) ?

Edited May 25 to give an example :

I have defined an Event with an associated Contribution Page.

People register on line (Webform) and pay either on line or by check.

When I receive the checks, I want to record them to manage the Event balance :

  • I Search for Contributions, based on the Contribution Page + Pending Status :
  • In the contacts List, I then select those who have sent their check and I select Action > Update multiple Contributions :

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  • Then I select a Contribution Profile which contains Total Amount, Payment mode (check or cash), check #, status :

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  • I can then record all the checks that I have received

I would use the same process to update memberships custom fields (Search for memberships + Membership Profile, instead of Contribution) or for Event or Activities.

I can make those Searches because I am the general Administrator, but I don't want my organizations Administrators to have this permission : too dangerous and uneasy : this is why I ask for this Search storage (in the form of Groups), that I could predefine for them.

  • are you saying you want to limit the user so they can't access the other Actions from the Search?
    – petednz - fuzion
    May 25, 2018 at 21:45
  • No, I don't want them to use the "Find Members, Participants, Contributions, ..." Menus ; I want to give them only the current result (just like Smart Groups which, in fact are predefined Searches). May 26, 2018 at 8:49
  • ok. but to then offer them all the options under Actions, or just some, or none?
    – petednz - fuzion
    May 26, 2018 at 23:50
  • Just some, that I specify in the standard permissions : send mails or mailings, send SMSs (special which should be added in next update), print labels : that's all. May 27, 2018 at 6:53
  • ... I would probably restrict pertaining permissions as well for Participations, Contributions, Memberships, ... May 27, 2018 at 7:39

3 Answers 3


If you are using Drupal then I would consider building Views and Webforms to give you the flexibility you need without sending users deeply in to civicrm itself. If that sounds useful then get in touch for a more fleshed out explanation.

  • Thank you Pete ; but the feature that I want is "multiple update", which can't be done with Views, nor with webforms (as far as I know) : for instance, I cannot update membership custom data (I have to re-register a complete membership) nor record a payment by check (check data are not available in webform). May 24, 2018 at 12:23
  • Do you mean Batches? Maybe a translation issue? Contributions offers Batch Data Entry and Accounting Batches.
    – petednz - fuzion
    May 24, 2018 at 20:22
  • May-be Batches would be an alternative for Contributions (I did not test), but not for Memberships, Participations or Activities.I have just edited may Post to give an example. May 25, 2018 at 7:09
  • You can do multiple updates with Views using VBO - drupal.org/project/views_bulk_operations and you can write your own actions if the default ones are not sufficient. It is not the same as Civi's bulk edit but can be useful.
    – Aidan
    May 25, 2018 at 8:43
  • Hi Aiden, I have Views Bulk Operation installed, but I never could have it working (on Civi, I mean) ; and the README.txt help file is very short. I would love to use it if I could : it would be a very good alternative solution. Could you just show me an example ? How can I write my own actions (I am not a programmer) ? May 25, 2018 at 10:34

There are different ways to accomplish this. The first way is setup ACL's. ACL are used to define what a user (in your case Administrator) may see. That way you can allow them to only see a certain group of contacts.

When you are using ACL's the search and reporting works as expected and will only show the contacts the user is allowed to see. You can then still use the batch and profile editting options.

  • Thank you Jaap for your suggestion. I am not familiar with ACL : I will explore this possibility, ... and come back to you. May 24, 2018 at 12:30
  • I have had a look to ACLs : as far as I understand, ACLs can restrict actions to a Group (of Contacts) ; but my concern is about Contributions, Memberships, Participations, Activities, ... to update them. Could I, for instance restrict actions to Contributions of a given Contribution Page ? I have just edited my Post to give an example. May 25, 2018 at 7:14
  • I dont know whether ACL on contribution pages is possible. I do think ACL on financial types are possible but I have never used it. May 25, 2018 at 7:42

If you need permission based access so A can access other contacts related to B then the Permissioned Relationships module by Fuzion might be worth looking at

  • Hi Pete, I don't want to Search for Contacts (I know how to do that), but for Contributions, Memberships, Participations, Activities ; search criteria are OK, but the Search UI is too dangerous and uneasy to be given to simple Organization Admins. This is why I would like to be able to predefine such Searches. May 25, 2018 at 7:07
  • I am still not clear if you are trying to control Organisation Administrators so they can only access 'their' contacts or not. If you are already doing this can you clarify what method you are using
    – petednz - fuzion
    May 25, 2018 at 21:46
  • Hi Pete, my implement process is as follows : nobody except me can access the standard CiviCRM Menu. For each Organization or Event, I develop 2 pages : one public where authenticated Users can register to Organizations (as members) or Events (as Participants) or can Contribute, and can pay on line or by cheque. The other is reserved to the Organization Administrator(s), where they can (1) register non authenticated users, (2) List/sort their Members and/or Participants, (3) Communicate (Mails or mailings, SMSs, Label print) with them, divided into Smart Groups. I would like them to be able... May 26, 2018 at 7:39
  • ... to record payment made by check or cash. Each Administrator can only access his own admin Page, and has restricted standard permissions to prevent him from doing anything on his Groups (only Mails and Mailings, SMS, Print Label). Registrations and on line payments are made via Webforms ; Lists via Views. May 26, 2018 at 7:49
  • Not sure how if I can help without properly scoping this for a custom extension to deliver exactly what you are describing. Get in touch with us or pick others from the Partners list, which is perhaps the answer to the OP "What is the best way to have this ability developped?"
    – petednz - fuzion
    May 26, 2018 at 23:53

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