Import people

Start your nation with a solid foundation.

Updated over a week ago

Your organization probably engaged with people before you started your nation. You can import contacts from MailChimp, Google contacts, or Constant Contact using Tectonica Tools.

Information from other sources can also be imported directly into the People section. Complete instructions exist, including how to prepare for your first import. The NationBuilder Services team can also help import data and complete your first import for you for free. 

Step 1: Upload your file

To import people manually en masse, first make sure your import file is formatted as a UTF-8 standardized, comma separated file (CSV). Then, navigate to People > Import

1. Click Choose File and select the file from your computer.

2. Click Upload CSV file

Step 2: Map fields

Mapping fields means telling your nation what type of data can be found in each field (column) of your import file. You must map to fields available for import. Check out a complete list of fields available for import. If your field cannot be imported, you might be able to map your data as a tag or custom field.

Do the fields need to be in a certain order? 

Not necessarily, but typically people order them: First name, Last name, Unique ID, Phone number, Email address, etc. 

Does NB have an example CSV? 

We sure do. Here's a basic import file example.

To start mapping, select the data field from the dropdown menu at the top of each column.

Keep in mind, different fields of the same name exist under different category headers which produce different results. 

For example, there are a variety of Address category choices (i.e. Mailing, Work, etc.), make sure that if you have an address with multiple lines, you are using Address 1, Address 2, Address 3 under the same heading. 

While mapping you may see some error text, don't fret. Every time fields are mapped, the system will validate the first row of data to confirm it looks correct. Once you map a required unique ID field, this will disappear. 

Also, make sure to check the box next to "Don't import" to tell the system the first row contains header information and the second row of data can be validated. 

Step 3: Customize your import

The third step is defining settings for the import. Several options appear on one-time imports. Fewer choices are included in other imports.

1. Decide whether to overwrite existing signup data. The unique ID imported with a record could connect it to an existing profile in your nation.

2. Support status- Profiles always have a support status, which is supporter, non-supporter, or prospect.

If the records being imported are people who have opted into communication, select Supporters/Non-supporters. Any new profile created with an email address, mobile number, Facebook username/ID, or Twitter login/ID will be labeled a supporter. Other profiles will be created as non-supporters.

If the records being imported are people who have not opted into communication, select Prospects

In certain circumstances, information being imported may override the rules above. Please see how support status is determined for more information.

3. Activity stream- Decide whether to show that each profile was added in the activity stream in the Dashboard section and on the person's profile. 

4. Add tags to each person- Tags are like virtual sticky notes that you can attach to a person’s profile to highlight certain criteria or characteristics. It's always recommended to add a tag to any import that may be updating data so that you can filter for this group after the fact. 

5. Bypass webhooks- If you check this box, no signal will be sent to the API regarding the import. Checking the box will prevent external apps/API-based integrations from updating based on the import.

6. Start import button- Until fields are mapped, you will not be able to press this button. Fields must be mapped and a unique identifier must exist before the file can be imported.

Once you click the Start import button, the file is loaded into the import queue. The status displayed with that file will be "Queued for importing, but not started yet. Refresh to check." A nation can import one file at a time.

Once its complete, you will see profiles for all of the people imported within the People section. 

Related HOWTOs

Need more direction? We also offer demos and virtual/in-person training sessions!

Did this answer your question?