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Data Import/Export App
Posted by Gabrielle Long, Last modified by Jennifer Udan on 11 September 2019 09:24 AM

The Data Import/Export App allows you to import and export user information to and from VolunteerHub in unformatted CSV files. This article covers the following topics:

Please note that the Data Import/Export App is included with all Enterprise Plan sites and may be added to other VolunteerHub plans at an additional cost. For more information, please contact info@volunteerhub.com.

Setting Import/Export Keys

Before you can import or export VolunteerHub data using the Data Import/Export App, you must tell the system which sets of data to import or export. This is done through the use of "Import/export keys." Import/export keys are special identifiers in VolunteerHub that tell the system the user form question or user group you're editing is able to receive imported data.

You can set an import/export key for any question in the User Form as well as any user group. By default, no import/export keys are set, so only your users' usernames will be imported/exported until you set keys for other questions in the User Form and any user groups you'd like to import users directly into.

To set an import/export key for a specific set of user data (i.e., a specific question from the User Form), follow the steps below.

Step 1.

Log into your Hub and navigate to your User Form. From there, click on the button beside the question you'd like to import/export responses to or from.

Note that if your organization purchased the Enterprise plan or added Multiform, the User Form will be accessed by navigating to the People tab > User Groups sub-tab > "All Users" user group > User Form page.

Step 2.

Next, scroll down to the bottom of the form. There you will find the Import/Export Key field (Figure 1). Enter your import/export key in the field provided. Most times, we will enter the name of the question in this area without spaces. For example, if you would like to import volunteers' names into VolunteerHub, you might edit the "Full Name" question in your User Form and enter "Name" into the Import/Export Key field.

Note that Import/Export Keys must begin with a letter and may not contain spaces; if your key needs to contain more than one word, try capitalizing each word and omitting the spaces (e.g., "EmergencyContactName").


Figure 1. Enter the exact name of the identifier you'd like to use as an import/export key.

Step 3.

When finished, click on the Save Question button. Repeat these steps for each question in the User Form for which you'd like to import or export data. 

Step 4.

Determine whether you want to import all users into the system with specific user group memberships. You can do this by defining import/export keys for specific user groups, which will allow you to import or export user group memberships. To set an import/export key for a particular user group, go to the User Groups page by navigating to the People tab and clicking on the User Groups sub-tab.

Step 5.

From there, select the user group you'd like to set an import/export key for and click on Edit (Figure 2).


Figure 2. You can also add import/export keys for a user group by editing the desired group.

Step 6.

Just as you did when editing each User Form question, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter an import/export key into the Import/Export Key field (as shown by step #4 in Figure 2 above). When finished, click on the Save User Group button.

You will only be able to import or export users into user groups for which you have set import/export keys. 

Once you've defined all import/export keys for all User Form questions and user groups you want to import data into, you can begin importing and exporting users.

Importing User Data

The Import Users feature in VolunteerHub allows you to import volunteer information, such as usernames, contact information and group memberships, quickly into VolunteerHub via CSV file. Once you've set your import/export keys for the desired User Form questions and user groups, you will be able to import that data into VolunteerHub using the Import Wizard.

Follow the steps below to import user data into VolunteerHub. Be sure you completed the steps above in the section on Setting Import/Export Keys FIRST before attempting to import users into the system.

Step 1.

Navigate to the Setup tab and click on the Apps sub-tab. You will see a list of optional applications (Figure 3). Click on the Import Users button to open the Import Wizard.


Figure 3. The Import/Export App can be found under the Setup tab > Apps sub-tab.

Step 2.

If you already have a CSV file containing the data you'd like to import (such as an exported volunteer roster from your previous volunteer system), click on the Download a CSV template link to download an Excel spreadsheet containing columns that represent the import/export keys defined in your Hub's User Form questions and user groups, and replace the headers in your existing spreadsheet with the headers in the template (Figure 4). The headers must match the template for the data to import correctly into VolunteerHub. In addition, your CSV file must contain at least the Username:Value column in order to import successfully.

If you do not have an excel file of your existing users, you can also manually populate the template with your volunteers' information.

The following MUST be true for any users you import into the system (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP):

  • Username must be present. If you are planning to invite imported users to your site, this username will be temporary and can be changed by the user. In addition, all usernames must be unique. If you import a user with the same username as an existing user in VolunteerHub, the previous user's account will be overwritten with the imported values - this action cannot be undone!
  • Email addresses must have the "@" symbol and a URL extension (e.g., ".com") at the end. Emails cannot contain spaces.
  • Phone numbers must contain at a miminum ten digits (US/Canada only).
  • Names must contain both a first name and last name. (And if your organization also requires users to provide a Title, you must include a Title.)
  • Addresses must contain data for all fields if data is entered into one or more address fields (e.g., if you enter a street address, you must enter city, state and ZIP as well; if you enter a state, you must enter data into the Address1, City and ZIP fields). In addition, the ZIP (or Postal Code) must contain the proper number of digits and the state must be a two-letter abbreviation (US only). If you are importing data into the Address1 column, do not remove the Address2 column (even if the cells in that column are left blank).
  • Boolean question fields must contain either "True" or "False" for every user. These cells cannot be left blank for any user.
  • List question fields must contain a value you have defined in the "Value" column of the user form question's List Items (do not use options entered into the "Text" column unless they match exactly what you have as the list item's Value). Values are case-sensitive. These cells cannot be left blank for any user.
  • Number (Integer) question fields must contain an integer (whole number) within the Minimum and Maximum Accepted Values you have specified in the user form question.
  • User Group membership (:IsMember) columns must contain either "True" or "False," indicating whether the user is a member of each group for which an Import/Export Key is defined. These cells cannot be left blank for any user.

In addition, any non-required columns you do not wish to import data into should be left blank or deleted in their entirety (or, remove the Import/Export Key from that column's corresponding User Form question or User Group). In other words, either leave the entire column as is, or delete the entire column by right-clicking the column letter and choosing "Delete" ; do not just delete the contents of the header cell. Deleting only the header name or only specific header cells from the template will result in the following error during import: "Header '' is improperly formatted." 


Figure 4. Compare your CSV file with the downloadable CSV template to ensure your data imports correctly.

Step 3.

Once your headers match the template file and your data is complete and correct, begin importing your CSV file by clicking on the Browse... button (see Figure 4 above) and selecting the CSV file you'd like to import.

Step 4.

If you would like to invite the imported users to start signing up for events in your site, check the "Send email invitations to new users" checkbox to send an email invitation to your imported users (Figure 5). You may include a custom message to your imported users in the text box provided. The users will receive an email with a link to your site; upon clicking the invitation link, those users will be able to create a username and password and complete their profile (the user form will pre-populate with all data imported for that user).

IMPORTANT: If you want to send them, invitations must be sent during the import process. You will not be able to send the invitations at a later time after importing users. Skipping this step will import user accounts with no passwords, meaning an imported user will not be able to log into their account unless they click the "Forgot password?" link in the Sign In page AND also have a unique email address in their imported account. You cannot import passwords for users as this is a security concern.


Figure 5. An email invitation can be sent to all imported users (optional).

Step 5.

Click on the Start button to import the file. The user information in that file will be available in your VolunteerHub site immediately once the file is imported successfully. 

When importing large numbers of volunteers into the system, you can view a live count of the number of users who have been imported into the system. At any time, you can navigate away from the page to continue working in your site. To check on the progress of the import, simply return to the Import Wizard.

To cancel during the import process, click Cancel (you will need to re-import the file again later).

The import functions on a queue. If you see the word "Queued" for a period of time, that means another site is running an import and your import has been added to the queue. When this happens, just click Exit and continue your work in the system as needed (do not click Cancel). You can return to the Import app any time to see the progress. Once your import is queued up, you'll see that users were imported.

Step 6.

Upon completion of the import process, a results page will display with the number of users imported as well as the number of rows not imported due to import errors (Figure 6). Click on the "Download the errors file" link to view a CSV file detailing the issues with the spreadsheet.

The errors spreadsheet will provide the cause of the error as well as the corresponding line number of the original import file.


Figure 6. You can view the results and download a detailed error file once your import is finished. 

Step 7.

Correct the reported errors, if any, and delete the first two columns (A and B) from the file. Then, save the spreadsheet as a CSV file on your computer and use it as a new import file to import the remaining users into the system.

Exporting User Data

The Export Users feature in VolunteerHub allows you to export volunteer information from VolunteerHub as an unformatted CSV file.

Follow the steps below to export user data from VolunteerHub.

Step 1.

Navigate to the Setup tab and click on the Apps sub-tab, then click on the Export Users link to view the Export options (Figure 7).


Figure 7. Export user data using the Export Users module of the Data Import/Export App.

Step 2.

Choose whether to export all users or members of a specific user group. For the latter, simply start typing the name of one of your user groups into the field in the first statement, then select the best match from the list of matches below the field.

Step 3.

Click on the blank field in the second statement to export only those users that were added or changed after that specific date. Leave the field blank to export all users from your VolunteerHub site.

Step 4.

When finished, click on the Preview Report button to preview your selection. When ready, click the "Download Full Report" link at the bottom of the page to export the full CSV file based on your selections. You can then manually import this file into a CRM or other application or use the data for mail merges, email blasts, etc.

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Comments (4)
Andy Nolan
21 July 2016 07:35 PM
Import function would be great for corporate groups! If a group sent the name but did not send an email address for each person, is there a way of sending a group leader links for the entire group to fill out? It looks like many accounts can be linked to one email address but each account would send an identical email with each email only able to be used once. Is it possible for the "invitation" to include the username or name of the user?
Jennifer Udan
25 July 2016 11:20 AM
Hi Andy. If you have the group leader's contact information and want to circulate a link to your site to have their team register, you may consider sending the leader a Join Code or a link to an auto-join landing page to make it even easier for their team members to register and join the correct user group. This way, when they register, each user would enter their unique email address. You can see more detail on those options here: http://support.volunteerhub.com/News/NewsItem/View/55/quick-tip-join-codes-vs-landing-pages

If you have further questions, please submit a ticket via the link in the upper-left corner of this site to ensure you get a fast and accurate response, as we do not monitor Knowledgebase article comments regularly.
Margaret Sands
11 October 2018 03:22 PM
How should I import users who have multiple email addresses in our records? I don't know which email addresses are primary but it looks like one username can't have more than one email address.
Jennifer Udan
17 October 2018 08:55 AM
Hi Margaret,
If you want to be able to import more than one email address for your users, then you would need to create more than one email User Form question.
For example, create a "Secondary Email" user form question and then import a response into that field. But only the current "Email" field would be the one to receive emails via VolunteerHub.
The Secondary Email field would just be for your informational purposes. VolunteerHub can only send emails to ONE email address per user account.

If you need any assistance with this, please send us a message via the link in the upper-right corner of this site to ensure you get a fast and accurate response, as we do not monitor Knowledgebase article comments regularly.
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