Added more information to my question: Here is the situation. We are using WordPress and CiviCRM. We have Donors and Volunteers. With donations, we upload a CSV file for our new donors (new donors only. Contributions are uploaded separately). However, if the new donor happens to be a volunteer, the record gets rejected as a "duplicate". Currently, I log in as admin to manually identify the individual as belonging to the "Donor" group (Add group - donor).

We recently encountered a new and more serious problem. When volunteers submit an interest form which has been created from the Profile Fields (https://newlife.socialservicesconnect.com/civicrm/profile/create/?gid=31&reset=1), and if they happen to be a current donor, they will receive an email telling them that their submission is rejected because their information is already in our records. The problem is they than think that they are already in our system as Volunteers when it fact, that information is not updated and unless they contact us to tell us, we won't know.

Vendor says its is a technical issue, nothing can be done. I don't believe so and am relying on the hive mind for help.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

  • Can you add some more information eg 1/ how do volunteers submit "an interest form", as in what sort of 'form' is this using? 2/ what matching rules are being used?, 3/ what CMS is in use?, 4/ when you import donations, is it creating new Contacts AND their Contribution in a single import?. and yes i tend to agree that what you want should all be possible.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 19:30
  • Thank you. Amended my question. Hope it covers what you have asked. Commented May 12, 2023 at 5:47
  • If I understand your requirements then I would expect that what you want to achieve is do-able with CiviCRM and its Extensions. As Lars says, when you import you have control on a/ what matching rule to use, and b/ whether to add, update, overwrite or reject data. Correct set up of those should avoid the problem you are describing.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


When you do an import of contacts, you can choose a dedupe rule and if you want to update or fill contact data. So you could use an existing dedupe rule like Name and Email or create your own dedupe rule that meets your needs. Then when you import contacts who are already in the database, you will update or fill the contact if they match according to the dedupe rule (update and fill will work the same as far as adding a contact to a group, I believe).

Regarding your volunteer interest form, a similar principle should be at work here, new contacts should be added and existing contacts should be updated (adding them to the volunteer group). Can you share what kind of form you are using and how it is connected to CiviCRM?

  • I am not very familiar with CiviCrm but the experience I had with my vednor has forced me to take a more hands-on approach to solving the problem, It looks like the volunteer form was created from the Profile Fields - Profile > Use (Create Mode). We then embed that link on our webpage. I have included the link in my revised question above. Thank you, Commented May 12, 2023 at 5:52
  • Sending an email like that is not something CiviCRM does out of the box. So it sounds like this is something your vendor has set up specifically. If they can't resolve it, you may want to consider bringing on someone new, unfortunately. This is definitely not a technical problem with CiviCRM in general.
    – Lars SG
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 15:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.