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Directory CSV Import

Estimated reading time: 6 min

Congregate allows you to bulk import member data into your member directory using a spreadsheet exported to a CSV file. While member and family photos cannot be bulk imported via a CSV file, all member data – including member group inclusions – can be imported via Congregate’s directory import.

Downloading the CSV Template

To import directory entries, first download our import template CSV file by clicking “Import/Export” inside the Directory module in Congregate Admin and clicking the “Download Directory Template” link.

Formatting the Template

Do Not Modify The Template
Your media import will fail if you modify the template in any way. Do not remove any row headers, columns, etc. Only add your information to the spreadsheet file.

Open the downloaded CSV template in Excel, Numbers, or your spreadsheet editor. The downloaded spreadsheet template cannot be modified and the data you add to it must be in the proper format as indicated in the header of each column. Below is a brief description of the data and format you’ll need for each member. Importing your data will fail if it is not in the required formats.

Family Name
The family name tells Congregate who is part of what family. For example, if you had two families with the same last name – Brown – with only their first and last names, Congregate would not know who is a member of which Brown family. Therefore, you must provide a unique family name for each family. By default, if you add a family manually in Congregate Admin, its family name will appear in the “Last Name, First Name & Spouse Name (Children’s Names)” format. This is a unique name that another family, even with the same last name, will not have. Individuals who are not in the same family but share the same last name can use similar formatting: “Last Name, First Name.” You are free to develop your own family naming structure, but remember, the last name alone is not enough to be a unique family name.

See the sample below for examples of family names and multiple families with the same last names:

Last Name
Enter the last name of the individual.

First Name
Enter the first name of the individual.

Family Position
If the individual is single, leave this column blank. Single individuals do not require a family position designation. If the individual is the head of his or her family, the position should be left blank. Blank positions are assumed to be the head of the household within a family. If the individual is the other spouse in the family, use “S” to indicate this. Each family should have no more than one “S” designation. If the individual is a child within a family, use “C” to indicate this.

Gender
If the individual is male, use “M” and if the individual is female, use “F”.

Address
Enter the street number and street name for the individual. Note that various family members can have different addresses in the directory, if applicable.

Suite, Apartment Number, Etc.
Enter the suite, apartment, PO box number, etc. if the address requires this.

City
Enter the city name.

State
Enter the two letter, postal abbreviation for the state. Do not enter the entire state name for US addresses.

Zip Code
Enter the five digit postal zip code for US addresses.

Home Phone Number
Assumed to be a land-line (i.e. not capable of receiving a text message), enter the home phone number if applicable. Phone numbers must be entered in the ten digit “###-###-####” format (e.g., 555-926-4526). Do not enter extension numbers, country codes, or any other numbers if you plan to use this field with any of Congregate’s text or voice messaging services.

Work Phone Number
Enter the work phone number, if applicable. Phone numbers must be entered in the ten digit “###-###-####” format (e.g., 555-926-4526). Do not enter extension numbers, country codes, or any other numbers if you plan to use this field with any of Congregate’s text or voice messaging services.

Cell Phone Number
Enter the cell phone number, if applicable. Phone numbers must be entered in the ten digit “###-###-####” format (e.g., 555-926-4526). Do not enter extension numbers, country codes, or any other numbers if you plan to use this field with any of Congregate’s text or voice messaging services.

Cellular Provider
Leave this column blank.
This field is for legacy account holders and is no longer used.

Email Address
Enter the email address.

Alternate Email Address
Optionally, enter a second email address to have on file.

IM Service, IM Username
If you have the IM service custom field enabled, enter the instant message service name and username. Otherwise, leave these columns blank.

Birthday
Enter the birthday of the individual in the MM/DD/YYYY format (e.g., 05/17/1979). If you do not know the year (or wish not to display the year), simply use a ‘dummy’ year (e.g., 05/17/0000).

Anniversary Date
Enter the anniversary date of the individual in the MM/DD/YYYY format (e.g., 04/13/1987). If you do not know the year (or wish not to display the year), simply use a ‘dummy’ year (e.g., 04/13/0000).

Non-Christian
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter “Y” if the individual is not a Christian and “N” if the individual is a Christian.

Non-Member
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter “Y” if the individual is not a member and “N” if the individual is a member.

Member Since
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter the date when the individual became a member in the MM/DD/YYYY format (e.g., 10/24/1995).

Membership Status
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter “F” if the individual is a former member.

Occupation
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter the occupation of the individual.

Employer
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter the employer/company name of the individual.

College Student
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter “Y” if the individual is a college student.

School/College
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter the name of the school or college the individual is attending.

Family Relations
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter any notes indicating how this individual is related to others.

Previous Churches
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter any notes indicating the previous church(es) this individual has attended.

Notes/Comments
If you have this custom field enabled and wish to use it, enter any custom notes or comments (which can be viewed by other members).

Individual Photo URL
Leave this column blank.
This field is only used when exporting your directory CSV file, indicating the path to the individual photo.

Family Photo URL
Leave this column blank.
This field is only used when exporting your directory CSV file, indicating the path to the individual’s family photo.

Preferred Phone Number
Indicate what phone number is preferred when and if they are contacted via Congregate’s text and/or voice messaging services. Enter “H” for the home phone number, “C” for the cellular number, or “W” for the work number. If no preferred number is selected, Congregate will attempt to contact the individual in the following order: cellular, home, work.

Adding Custom Fields/Member Groups

Within the Congregate CSV template, you’ll see the following columns at the end, which can be edited and duplicated if you wish to add custom data fields or assign members to member groups. Otherwise, they must remain as-is.

Custom-Family-[INSERT TITLE HERE]
You can create custom fields that will appear in your Congregate Admin directory. These fields can be individual- or family-based. To create a new family-based custom field, rename the header column and replace “[INSERT TITLE HERE]” with the name of your field. E.g., to add a new field for “Home Bible Study Hosting”, rename “Custom-Family-[INSERT TITLE HERE]” to “Custom-Family-Home Bible Study Hosting”. Then, enter the data for the family in the head of household’s row. E.g., you might add “Yes” to indicate they are willing to host an at-home Bible study. Note that this field will appear once for the entire family and will not be shown for each individual. You can add as many custom family fields as you wish. Simply duplicate the column to the right, and rename the column title for your additional custom field (e.g., “Custom-Family-House Visiting Preacher”).

Custom-[INSERT TITLE HERE]
You can create custom fields that will appear in your Congregate Admin directory. These fields can be individual- or family-based. To create a new individual-based custom field, rename the header column and replace “[INSERT TITLE HERE]” with the name of your field. E.g., to add a new field for “Favorite Bible Passage”, rename “Custom-[INSERT TITLE HERE]” to “Custom-Favorite Bible Passage”. Then, enter the data for that individual in his or her row. E.g., you might add “John 3:16”. You can add as many custom fields as you wish. Simply duplicate the column to the right, and rename the column title for your additional custom field (e.g., “Custom-Favorite Bible Version”).

Group-[INSERT TITLE HERE]
You can assign individuals to multiple member groups inside the CSV file. To add a new member group, rename the header column and replace “[INSERT TITLE HERE]” with the name of your member group. E.g., to add a new field for “Elders”, rename “Group-[INSERT TITLE HERE]” to “Group-Elders”. Then, in each individual’s row, enter “Y” if he or she is to be included in that member group. You can add as many member groups as you wish. Simply duplicate the column to the right, and rename the column title for your additional member group (e.g., “Group-Deacons”).

Uploading Your CSV File

    1. Export your spreadsheet (including the header row and all columns) in the CSV format. You cannot upload Excel (.xlsx) or Numbers (.numbers) files; only CSV files can be uploaded.
    2. Return to Congregate Admin and click the “Upload Files” button and select your exported CSV file. Click “Import Directory Entries” to upload and add your entries.

Import Errors

If you encounter any error messages (or if your import produces no results), that means your template is not formatted correctly. It could be missing its header rows, you could have data in the incorrect format (e.g., entering Florida instead of FL, or entering Feb 4, 1956 instead of 02/04/1956, etc.), or you could have conflicts with families, positions, and/or family names. You’ll need to ensure your data is correct, fix any mistakes, and re-upload again.

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