[Donor Management System] Merging Duplicate Contacts

Merging (or Deduping) your duplicate Contacts should be an important and regular part of your data hygiene best practices. This ensures that all of your data is easily searchable and ready to be analysed.

What is Merging?

Merging refers to combining Contacts that happen to be complete or partial duplicates of each other.

Merging can be done in two different ways:

  • Merging a single Contact (Single Merge): on your Contacts Tab, you might come across duplicated Contacts that can be merged into one.
  • Merging multiple Contacts at once (Mass Merge): an advanced action applied to all existing Contacts on the DMS aiming to find all possible duplicates based on set rules.

Considerations for Merging

What information will be merged?

  • You will be able to select which specific information to be updated, matched and added.
  • Relationships will also be preserved.

Frequency of Mass Merging

  • Finding duplicates should be done on a regular basis.
  • The frequency is mostly dependant on how many Contacts are on your DMS at any time, but also how many Contacts are added on a daily basis.
  • A bigger, more active donor base should be checked for duplicates more regularly.

When to Mass Merge

  • Outside of your set Mass Merging schedule, you should consider finding for duplicates when a large number of Contacts has been imported
  • Examples of when to look for duplicates: Third-party event, new mailing list from external sources, etc.

Merging MailChimp Details & Summary Fields

  • When selecting which information to overwrite, match or add, you will see two sections: MailChimp Details and Summary Fields.
  • The DMS will automatically identify the duplicated information and will add (not overwrite) anything that is not a perfect match.
  • You won’t need to check or uncheck the boxes in these sections in order to select the necessary information for the merge. In the future, these boxes will be removed so you can ignore them for now.

How to Merge Contacts

Single Merge

When browsing or searching your Contacts Tab, you might come across a duplicated Contact. Combining these two Contacts is known as a Merge Action.

1. Go to the Contacts Tab

2. Select a minimum of 2 Contacts to be merged and select Actions

4. Type “merge” or scroll down to the option and select Merge contacts

5. You will be directed to the Merge Contacts page where you can select which details to Merge, add or ignore


Single Merge Actions

6. On the Merge Page, you can find several additional options:

  • Flip between original and duplicate contacts.: lets you designate which of the two Contacts is the one to be kept and which one is a duplicate.

– Generally, the duplicated Contact is the one which contains the most out of date information.

  • Mark this pair as not a duplicate.: marks both Contacts as not duplicates of each other.

– This, in turn, will leave them out of every subsequent Mass Merging process.

  • Show/hide rows with the same data on each contact record.: exposes identical fields. e.g.: both Contacts share the exact same phone number.

7. Before completing the Merge, it is advised to review all the fields and consider a few things:

  • Contacts are Merged from left to right. The contact on the left “Draper, Nicola” will be merged into the one on the right “Draper, Nicola”, resulting in only the right contact “Draper, Nicola” remaining.
  •  If any of the fields on the left side is more accurate or preferable, clicking the checkbox between the two Contact columns will preserve the left field over the right one.

8. Select the Merge button at the bottom of the page to Merge the Contacts

Note: this action cannot be undone and will result in the duplicate Contact being deleted.

9. You will be forwarded to the remaining Contact’s Profile Page.


Mass Merge

  • The Mass Merge process is set to detect all possible duplicate Contacts within your DMS.
  • It differs from a Single Merge since it does not require user input to identify the duplicates but rather follows a set of rules.
  • Households can only be Single Merged at this moment.

Note: Mass Merging will need to be completed in two steps; first for Individual Contacts, then for Organizations.

1. Go to the Contacts Tab and select the Advanced Actions menu at the upper-right side of the screen

2. Select either Merge Duplicate Individuals or Merge Duplicate Organizations from the menu

3. The following page allows you to see all the potential duplicate Contacts found in the DMS to be Merged


Mass Merge Actions

4. On the Mass Merge Page, you will find several actions. Actions are only performed on selected Contacts (checkbox):

 

  • Show or hide the street address and/or postal code for the listed Contacts and any potential Conflicts that might emerge after doing the Merge.
  • Please ignore Threshold for now.

 

a. Flips between original and duplicate Contact. Lets you designate which of the two Contacts is the one to be kept and which one is a duplicate.

b. Merges the specific Contact and duplicate Contact.

c. Marks the selected pair of Contacts as not duplicates. This, in turn, will leave them out of every subsequent Mass Merge process.

 

  • Refresh Duplicates: updates the list. Used when Contacts have been individually Merged.
  • Batch Merge Selected Duplicates: merges only the selected (checkbox) Contacts and duplicates.
  • Batch Merge All Duplicates: merges all duplicates listed, regardless of them being selected or not.
  • Flip Selected Duplicates: flips between selected (checkbox) original and duplicate Contacts. Lets you designate which of the two Contacts is the one to be kept and which one is a duplicate.
  • Done: exits the Merging process and no further action is applied.

5. Before completing the Merge, it is advised to review all the fields and consider a few things:

  • Contacts are Merged from left to right. The contact on the left “Draper, Nicola” will be merged into the one on the right “Draper, Nicola”, resulting in only the right contact “Draper, Nicola” remaining.
  • If any errors or “conflicts” are detected, the page will reload and the specific, individual conflicts will show for each line.

Note: After reviewing the conflicts, the Merge can be forced regardless if it’s deemed acceptable by selecting “Force Merge Selected Duplicates”. This action cannot be undone and will result in the duplicate Contact being deleted.

6. Select Batch Merge Selected Duplicates or Batch Merge All Duplicates to proceed with the Merge.

Note: This action cannot be undone and will result in the duplicate Contact being deleted.

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