Learn about our newest features and enhancements!
Contact Matching
Jessica Mocha 12/10/2021 3:46:00 PM

For best practice, when importing contact information, make sure contact matching is turned on. If Contact Matching is disabled, there is a high chance of creating a duplicate with the exact same information.

NOTE: if this is the first-time data is being imported, disabling matching is recommended since there is no data to match it to. This will allow the import to run much faster.

Once Contact Matching is enabled, two drop downs will appear, Multi-Match Action and Match Update Action.

Multi-Matching Action

The Multi-Match Action drop down will have three options, “Select Closest Match”, “Create Duplicate Record”, and “Fail as Bad Record”

Multi-Match is what happens when multiple matches are found in CharityEngine but no matches are considered an exact match.

Select Closest Match: this option will import the new information to the contact that matches closest to the information already input. The system will choose the closest match based on the 15 criteria listed below. These criteria are ranked, which means if there are multiple contacts with similar information, the system will choose the highest ranked match criteria.

Create Duplicate Record: This option will create a new record for the contact. When importing a contact that has similar contact information as another contact, but is a different person, or you are unsure if you already have a contact in your database, this is the best option to choose.  For example, if three people are in the same household, they will have the same address and possibly the same phone number, but their emails and other contact information is different. You would not want to import the new contact information to a contact that already exists but create a new or duplicate contact. After the duplicate record has been imported, the duplicate records can be updated by navigating to the De-Dupe Page

There will be active filters already in place, however these can be updated by selecting different filters in the Advance Filter.

Fail as Bad Record: For best practice, CharityEngine suggests using this option first so you can see how many contacts might have matched and can then decide as to how to proceed with those matches – either creating a duplicate or select closest

15 Criteria in which the system will match

These criteria are ranked and the system will choose the highest ranked match criteria

  1. Name And Email And Phone And Address
  2. Name And Email And Address
  3. Name And Phone And Address
  4. Name And Email And Phone
  5. Name And Email
  6. Name And Address
  7. Name And Phone
  8. Email And Phone And Address
  9. Email And Address
  10. Phone And Address
  11. Email And Phone
  12. Email Address
  13. Address - If it is not an office**
  14. Phone Number
  15. Name

** Contacts often share a business address, due to this if the address type if an office, the criteria is suppressed and not used to match contacts.

Example: You already have two existing contacts in CharityEngine and are entering a third. If you are using the Select Closest Match option, the data base will select the contact using the above criteria.

Existing Contact 1:

First Name: Big

Last Name Bird

Email: bigbird@charityengine.net

Address 123 Sesame place, New York, NY 10015

Phone: 212-555-1234


Existing Contact 2:

First Name: Mister

Last Name: Snufflepugas

Email: bigbird@charityengine.net

Address: 456 Sesame Place, New York, NY 10015

Phone: 212-555-6789


Imported contact information:

First Name: Big

Last Name Bird

Email: bigbird@charityengine.net

Address 123 Sesame place, New York, NY 10015

Phone: 212-555-1212


The contact that will be selected as closest match is Existing Contact 1 due to having the most data in common with the imported contact. Note that this is considered a match even though their phone numbers are different.


Match Update Action


The second important drop down, is the Match Update Action. This drop down tells CharityEngine what to do when a match is found. The drop down has two options, None or Update.


The None option will not change any of the existing data in the match with the data in the import file, it will however add new data, if the existing data is empty.


The Update option will update the matched contact’s data with the data in the import file.


Related Articles

Powered by Powered By CharityEngine