Importing checklist

If you already have a list of members (or other contacts) in a spreadsheet, you can use it to import them into Wild Apricot. If you are setting up your membership for the first time, we recommend looking at the membership setup checklist first.

The following checklist outlines the steps you should take when importing members and other contacts. For a more detailed look at the import process, see Importing members and contacts.

☐  Check your spreadsheet file

  • Use an XLS spreadsheet if possible
  • Your spreadsheet must have only one sheet
  • Your first row should be a header, showing column headings 
  • Remove any empty rows in the spreadsheet

☐  Check your column headers

  • Include a column for each field you want to update in your Wild Apricot database.
  • Include an Email column since email address is the primary identifier for contacts in Wild Apricot, and is required for contacts to sign in and perform self-service functions.
  • Remove all columns that contain information you don't want to add to or update in your Wild Apricot database.
  • Make sure the names of your columns match the common fields and membership fields in your Wild Apricot database. If they don't, change the headings in your spreadsheet. If there are fields missing in your Wild Apricot database, add them.

☐  Check your cell values

  • The Email column should not have any duplicate email addresses (no shared emails)
  • If you are importing members (rather than non-member contacts), include the following additional columns in your spreadsheet file:
Membership enabled Yes
Membership level The name of the membership level you want to assign them to
Membership status Active or Lapsed
Member since The date they became a member
Renewal due The date their membership renews

☐  Step through the import wizard

  1. Hover over the Contacts menu and select the Import option.
  2. Click the Choose file or Browse button (depending on your browser).
  3. Select the import file on your computer or network then click the Open button.
  4. Click the Upload button.
  5. On the File settings screen, you provide details about the structure and format of your import file then click the Next button to continue.
  6. On the mapping screen, each column in your import file is listed, along with the values for the first 3 records in the file. For each column that you want to import into your Wild Apricot database, make sure that Import checkbox is checked. 
  7. Within the Map to drop-down list, you can select the field in your Wild Apricot contact database into which the values for this column will be copied. If you want to use a column's values to populate a new field in your Wild Apricot database, select the NEW field - for all contacts to add the field as a common field, or NEW field - only for members to add the field as a membership field. For new fields, you must also select a field type.
  8. When you map a column to a multi-option field in your contact database – such as membership level or any multiple choice, radio buttons, or dropdown field – you can indicate whether new field values found in the spreadsheet should be ignored or used to create new field options. 
  9. After you have finished mapping import columns, click the Next button to continue.
  10. On the next screen that appears, click the Start import button to start processing your import file. Once the import process has started, a progress bar will appear.
  11. Once the process is completed, a detailed summary of the import will appear.
    If there were any problems with the import, the number of errors will appear as a link beside the Problems heading. Clicking this link will display the list of errors within the import log.

☐  Send welcome email

When you add new contacts or members through importing, they will not receive a welcome email with their login credentials. You have to manually email them with a password reset link, which they can use to choose their own passwords.

To email the imported contacts, follow these steps:

  1. Click the number of records created/updated within the import results.
  2. Click the Email contacts button.
  3. Select the template you want to use as the basis for your email.
  4. Within the body of your email message, let your new members know about your site and their membership, and include the {Contact_Password_Reset_URL} which displays a password reset link.
  5. Review your message and click the Send button to send it to your new members.


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