Our members do not login to the website. There is no member only content in it. But we want our members to be able to renew online. All members have a unique member number. We put their number on the label of the magazine we mail them, so they have it. It's stored in CiviCRM as Individual: External Identifier.

When we starter with CiviCRM we did not have email addressees for most members, so the email address in the CRM is often not real.

Is it possible to make a custom renewal form that accepts the member number and email address, and have a dedupe rule based on the member number? The email address should then be added (updated?) to the member record.

I tried making a copy of the New Member Form, and changed the profile to one that only asks for email and member number. But upon the form submit it returns this warning:

Please correct the following errors in the form fields below: External ID already exists in Database.

Any ideas what we should try next?

The environment is: Joomla: 3.9.14 CiViCRM: 5.21.1

  • Have you read and understood the role of Matching Rules? If you set up a matching rule that requires External ID to be considered a match then it would add that data to an existing record if the match works, or it will create a new contact record if no match exists. not sure if that delivers what you want but worth learning about it.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Jan 26 '20 at 20:40
  • Thanks @petednz, I thought I understood the matching rules, but maybe I missed something. My test form had 4 fields, including external id, and I added an unsupported rule for the same 4 fields. But on a submit I got the "External ID already exists" error. Maybe some other rule was being applied, and leading to the error? Do rules have a priority?
    – Kimball
    Jan 27 '20 at 21:29
  • I think you mean Unsupervised. How many 'unsupervised' rules do you have for Individuals? I thought there should only be one as otherwise i don't figure how the Contribution Page would know which to apply
    – petednz - fuzion
    Jan 28 '20 at 0:16

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