Bulk changes through importing

You can update multiple contact records in bulk through a three-stage process:

  1. Export your contacts to a spreadsheet
  2. Adjust the spreadsheet values
  3. Import the adjusted spreadsheet.

Before you begin this process, you should back up your contact database by exporting it to a spreadsheet. Any existing data in imported fields will be overwritten by the imported data. You cannot undo the importing of contact records.

To update multiple contact records using this process, follow the steps below.

1. Export existing contact records to a spreadsheet

To export contact records to a spreadsheet, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the Contacts menu and select the List option.
  2. If you want to update only selected contacts, filter the list. You only need to export the records you want to adjust.
  3. Click the Export button.
  4. On the screen that appears, select the export file format – XLS, CSV, or XML.
  5. Choose which fields to include in the export file.
  6. Click the Export button.

While the export file is being generated, you can click the Continue working button and safely switch to another Wild Apricot admin screen. export file-GYo.png

Once the file is generated, you'll receive an email with a link to the file.

If you waited until the export file was generated, the file will be automatically downloaded. As well, a dialog with a link to the file will appear, and an email with the link will be sent to you. contacts file is ready-I0M.png
Before clicking the download link within the email, make sure you are logged into your Wild Apricot account as an administrator.

You can choose to export the following columns:

  • User ID
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Organization
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Password
  • Group participation
  • Archived
  • Subscribed to emails
  • Subscription source
  • Event announcements
  • Member emails and newsletters
  • Administration access
  • Created on
  • Profile last update
  • Updated by
  • Balance
  • Total donated
  • Membership enabled
  • Membership level
  • Membership status
  • Member since
  • Renewal due
  • Renewal date last changed
  • Level last changed
  • Access to profile by others
  • Details to show
  • Photo albums enabled
  • Member bundle ID or email
  • Member role
  • Notes
  • any custom fields you have added.
Also, the Password column will be exported if you select the Export all fields option. The exported Password column will always be empty, but can be used to import passwords.Any date fields that you export will be formatted using the date format that is selected on your Organization details screen.

2. Adjust the exported values

With your contact records exported, you can now open the export file in Excel (or any other spreadsheet program) and adjust the exported values.

If you want to be able to restore contact records in case of a mistake on your part, you should modify a copy of the exported spreadsheet.

To simplify the field mapping stage of the process, you might want to delete any columns you don't want to update. Columns not in the spreadsheet will not be updated.

The only required column when updating existing contact records is email address. You can include additional columns for each field you want to update in your contact database. The names of the columns – the column headings – are not important since you can map each column in the spreadsheet to fields in your contact database as part of the import process.

If you want to remove a value – leaving it blank rather than replacing it with another value – enter NEVER for system date fields (like Renewal date), and CLEAR for custom fields and for the Group participation and Notes system fields.

You can archive multiple contacts – by setting the Archived column to Yes – but you cannot delete multiple contacts through importing. Once archived, however, you can delete all the archived records.

You cannot archive a contact through import if the contact has recurring payments enabled. You must first cancel the recurring payments.

You can suspend a member by setting the Membership enabled cell to no, and reinstate a suspended member by setting the Membership enabled cell to yes. An empty Membership enabled value indicates that the contact is not and was not a member.

For many system fields, you are restricted to entering certain values, or to enter values using a certain format. For more information, see Importing contacts.

The following system fields are included in the export file but cannot be updated through importing.

  • Administration access
  • Balance
  • Created on
  • Level last changed
  • Member role
  • Profile last updated
  • Renewal date last change
  • Subscription source
  • Total donated
  • Updated by

These fields will be ignored during import if present in your import file.

3. Import the spreadsheet

Once you've finished modifying the spreadsheet, you can use it to update your Wild Apricot contact database.

To import the spreadsheet, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the Contacts menu and select the Import option.
  2. Click the Choose file button.
  3. Select the import file on your computer or network then click the Open button. The file must be in either .xls, .xlsx, .csv, or .xml format, and up to 50 megabytes in size.
  4. Click the Upload button.

Wild Apricot will now upload and analyze the import file. So that Wild Apricot can process the file properly, you will be prompted to provide some information about the import file.

For details on the remaining steps in the import process, see Importing members and contacts.

You can update only common and membership fields through importing. Other data related to events, donations, and finances can only be exported.

You can also perform mass updates of certain information from within Wild Apricot. You can:

  • Update the privacy settings for all members.
  • Clear the contents of a custom field for all contacts, by deleting the custom field and recreating it again.

You can import existing payments and event registrations into your Wild Apricot database using the Wild Apricot API. For more information, see Payments API V2 call and EventRegistrations API V2 call.

System fields that cannot be updated

The following system fields cannot be updated through importing, for security reasons.

  • Administration access
  • Renewal date last changed
  • Level last changed
  • Member role
  • Balance
  • Total donated
  • Created on
  • Updated by
  • Profile last updated

System fields that can be updated

System fields already exist within your Wild Apricot database and do not need to be created in your common or membership fields.

The following system fields can be updated through importing. For many system fields, you are restricted to entering certain values, or to enter values using a certain format. The valid values and formats for system fields are listed below.

User ID
This is a unique ID automatically generated by the system. You can enter an existing user ID to identity an existing contact in your database. You cannot create your own user ID; any values not found in your Wild Apricot database are ignored and replaced with a system generated ID.
Valid values: Usually a 5, 6 or 7 digit number

If the email address entered already exists in the database, then the existing record will be updated. Otherwise, a new record will be created.
If multiple records within the import file use the same email address, only the first record will be imported and the other records using that address will be ignored.
Valid values: Any valid email format (i.e.

Group participation
If you specify a member group that does not already exist in your Wild Apricot account, you will have the option to create it during the mapping stage of the import process. To assign a member to more than one group, enter the group names on separate lines.
Valid values: Name of the member group. Can be any combination of letters, numbers, characters, and spaces

Leave empty if you do not want to update the current user passwords. Passwords can only be imported, not exported.
Valid values: Any combination of letters, numbers, and characters; no spaces.
Minimum number of characters: 7.
Maximum number of characters: 50

Membership enabled
If set to No, all membership fields are ignored during import.
Valid values:

  • Yes - contact is a member
  • No - membership is suspended; contact no longer treated as a member

Membership level
If you specify a membership level that does not already exist in your Wild Apricot account, you will have the option to create it during the mapping stage of the import process.
Valid values: Name of your membership level. Can be any combination of letters, numbers, characters, and spaces

Member bundle ID or email
Use this field to bind members to the same bundle (see Importing bundles).
Valid values: The user ID or the email address of a bundle administrator.

Member since
The date the contact became a member
Valid values: Use supported date format (see below)

Renewal due
The renewal due date
Use supported date format (see below), or set to Never if member is not required to renew.

The membership status.
Valid values:

  • Active - Member enjoys all member benefits
  • Lapsed - Member has not paid his/her dues in time
  • Pending - Renewal - Member initiated the renewal process, but payment has not been confirmed yet
  • Pending - Level Change - Membership level change was initiated, now waiting for payment confirmation or approval.
  • Pending - New - New application is awaiting approval or payment confirmation.

Subscribed to emails
If Yes, contacts will be able to receive automatic email notices. Setting to No disables emails being sent to this contact (regardless of the Event announcements and Member emails and newsletters settings).
Valid values: Yes, No

Event announcements
This controls whether automatic event notices and reminders are sent to the contact. This setting is ignored if Subscribed to emails is set to No.
Valid values: Yes, No

Member emails and newsletters
This controls whether the user receives email blasts sent by Wild Apricot. This setting is ignored if Subscribed to emails is set to No.
Valid values: Yes, No

Set to Yes if you want the contact archived.
Valid values: Yes, No

Access to profile by others
Set to Yes if you want this contact's profile to be seen by others.
Valid values: Yes, No

Details to show
You can control which kind of visitors can view individual profile fields using the following format: fieldname&&permission where fieldname is the name of the field, and permission is Nobody, Anybody, or Member.
Valid values:

  • Member ID&&Nobody
  • First Name&&Anybody
  • Last Name&&Members
  • etc.

Photo albums enabled
Set to Yes if you want to enable photo albums for this member.
Valid values: Yes, No

Admin-only field, typically used by the system to record information not captured by other fields (i.e. automatic membership emails sent, when member was renewed, etc.)
Valid values: Any characters

Any other system fields included in the import file will be ignored.

Supported date formats

Date fields – membership start date, for example – must be formatted using an Excel date format. as date field-xVM.png

Otherwise, an error will occur when importing the file.

If you are importing using a CSV file, the date fields must use one of the following date formats:

  • dd mm yyyy
    Example: 31 Dec 2014
  • yyyy-MMM-dd
    Example: 2014-Dec-31
  • MM/dd/yyyy
    Example: 12/31/2014
  • dd/MM/yyyy
    Example: 31/12/2014
  • yy/MM/dd
    Example: 14/12/31
  • dd-MMM-yy
    Example: 31-Dec-14
  • yyyy-MM-dd
    Example: 2014-12-31
  • dd.MM.YYYY
    Example: 31.12.2014
  • MM.dd.YYYY
    Example: 12.31.2014
Do not include the time of day within a date field.


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