We're using CiviCRM to primarily build a network of activist groups around the country. There are "area organisers" and people they are linked with. We are using the relationship function to link people together. It would be really helpful to be able to search for people who haven't yet been linked to an area organiser (because there isn't one yet in their locality), but I can only work out how to search for relationships between specific individuals. Is there a way to search for everyone who doesn't yet have a relationship with anyone else in the database?

  • I love the the title of your question 😄 Nov 15, 2018 at 10:02

4 Answers 4


The 'Include/Exclude' search is very handy for situations like this:

  1. create a group of all contacts of interest
  2. create a group of those who DO meet some criteria
  3. use include/exclude to include group 1 and exclude group 2 to produce those who DON'T meet the criteria

So in your case:

  1. create a group of all people
  2. create a group who do have a relationship (Advanced Search, open Relationships section, select relationship types of interest, search, save group)
  3. go to Search > Custom Searches > Include/Exclude search include your 'all' group, exclude the 'has relationship' group (select either AND/OR - doesn't matter since you are not using tags but it is still required) Save as a group if you want.

If you want to use this often, create all 3 groups as smart groups.


One way is to export two lists to Excel and then use the power of Excel to find the missing ones.

  1. Under Reports - Contact Reports, run the Relationship Report and under Columns check "Contact ID" so that it appears in the output.
  2. From the Actions dropdown export that to CSV.
  3. Under Reports - Contact Reports, run the Constituent Summary Report and under Columns check "Contact ID".
  4. From the Actions dropdown export that to CSV.
  5. Do something like described here to find the contact ids that are in the second list but not the first. Note you'll need to sort the lists by contact id first for this method to work. https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/3124-excel-compare-two-columns-for-missing-values.html#formula

There are other ways to do it in Excel if you don't like that one above. Search the internet for something like "how to tell which values are missing from two lists in excel". If you're using LibreOffice or similar I'm sure it can be done too.


While this isn't an ideal fix, it's a quick one if you know SQL:

  • Create a new group called "Contacts without relationship".
  • Note the group ID. You can find the group id by hovering the mouse over the "Contacts" link of the group on the Contacts » Manage Groups page. In the screenshot below, you can see that the group ID of "Summer Program Volunteers" is "3".
  • Run this SQL statement: INSERT INTO civicrm_group_contact (group_id, contact_id) (SELECT '3', cc.id from civicrm_contact cc LEFT JOIN civicrm_relationship cr ON cc.id = cr.contact_id_a WHERE cr.id IS NULL AND cc.is_deleted = 0 AND cc.id IN (SELECT cc.id from civicrm_contact cc LEFT JOIN civicrm_relationship cr ON cc.id = cr.contact_id_b WHERE cr.id IS NULL AND cc.is_deleted = 0));

Replace the "3" above with YOUR group ID before you run it.

Now, everyone without a relationship will be in your group.

Screenshot for group ID (click to zoom): enter image description here

  • Nice, although is it missing an INSERT? I might also add cc.is_deleted = 0 to both the main and subqueries. And possibly restrict it to ACTIVE relationships, which might even require comparing end_date to the current date.
    – Demerit
    Nov 8, 2018 at 0:46
  • Oops - yeah, I modified then forgot to add the INSERT. I'll try to tweak this. Nov 8, 2018 at 1:01
  • Thank you - I don't know SQL, but someone else in our group might.
    – Cozy4907
    Nov 8, 2018 at 9:50

Either you can create a custom report to achieve that or can be done through CiviCRM API in a module code.

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