I am trying to do a Membership Import from a spreadsheet (Members.csv) with the following columnns: Membership Type | MEMBERSHIP # | DATE OF PURCHASE | AMOUNT PAID | FIRST NAME | LAST NAME | Mailing ADDRESS | POSTAL CODE | Summer Residence | Primary phone # | Secondary phone # | EMAIL | Topics of Interest | Notes | RECEIPT NUMBER

I created a 2nd spreadsheet to establish the contact data for each member (ContactList.csv) with the following columns: FIRST NAME | LAST NAME | Primary phone # | Secondary phone # | EMAIL with the same Email address as in the Members.csv file. I added all these contacts using the Contacts > Import Contacts dialog and the ContactList.csv file.

I then tried the Memberships > Import Memberships dialog, using the Members.csv file. On selecting "Import Now" I see the following: enter image description here On viewing the Import_Errors.csv file, I see all 47 rows of the table have the "Reason" as
"No matching Contact found for (email address)" Why? The same email address exists in the Contacts table. How can I Import members if there is no way to establish a connection with the Contacts table? I am missing something, but am unsure what. We are running CiviCRM 5.64.3.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Brad Nickerson

  • What is your unsupervised dedupe matching rule (under Contacts > Find & Merge Duplicate Contacts)? Is it just email? Is it possible that you have more than one contact with the same email?
    – Lars SG
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 2:23
  • Your question says you are importing "MEMBERSHIP #" - how can you have this when you are importing them? If i understand right Memb ID won't exist. Is this possible confusion that your 'memb ID' should be your 'contact id'?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 18:41
  • Hi Petednz. The "MEMBERSHIP #" is already defined for members as part of our Excel based membership management system since 2019. It is unclear what "Contact ID" means. Assuming I first import the Contacts from the ContactsList.csv file, how do I then Export existing contacts so that it shows a Contact ID field? I only have the FIRST NAME | LAST NAME | Primary phone # | Secondary phone # | EMAIL fields. Is Contact ID an internal field defined by CiviCRM on import? There is no "Export" option on the Contact main menu drop down list.
    – aqua
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


Kudos to LarsSG: having "Email (Unsupervised)" in "dedupe rules" works indeed. Contact ID is required in case if all Dedupe Rules fail. In this case, first thing would be to Export existing contacts: not all PRIMARY fields, only Contact ID and Email. Then do some concatenating Excel magic ("vlookup" works too, thanks to peterdnz comment below) and Import results back.

  • 1
    You can definitely import contacts or memberships with email alone if your unsupervised dedupe rule only needs email.
    – Lars SG
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:13
  • @LarsSG Afraid your suggestion hasn't been working for me since 2017 ( including the last attempt made past week). Each time I start an import I hope an email or an external id would suffice but it is always about contact id for existing contacts.
    – yurg
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 17:11
  • Sounds like you might have a specific issue, as this definitely does work in general. Have you tried what you're trying to do on dmaster.demo.civicrm.org?
    – Lars SG
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 17:36
  • vlookup is how i would add Contact ID to your membership import s'sheet but if you have a small / easy dataset then just ordering by email may suffice to copy in your contact ID
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 18:43
  • @LarsSG Thank you, will definitely try your approach the next import.
    – yurg
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 9:22

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