In This Article:

    Search for and Resolve Duplicates Using the Constituent Merge Utility

    In This Article:

      There are 3 methods to deduplicate constituents:

      Method Description
      Search for Duplicates (this article). Check out the Constituent Merge training course in Salsa Scholars.
      • This searches for possible duplicates within existing CRM contacts.
      • Use this method when you want to control the criteria used in searching for duplicates.
      Merge Constituents from the Constituent Dashboard
      • This quickly merges records right away and allows you to keep working.
      • Use this method when you happen to come across a duplicate when you have looked up a contact.
      Potential Salsa CRM Duplicate Constituents From Salsa Engage
      • This shows new contacts from Engage that are potential duplicates with existing CRM contacts. The potential duplicate is not added to the CRM until this is resolved.
      • Use this method when you have lots of online activity.


      The Constituent Merge Utility reports instances of duplicate constituents so that they may be merged into one record. This may be necessary if duplicate records had been created or imported for a constituent. For example, if two records contain the same last name, first name, and address, that would likely be the same person, and the two records should be combined into one record.

      You will be presented with two records that potentially match each other, given a set of conditions that you control. The utility labels them as Candidate 1 and Candidate 2. It is helpful to think of the records in terms of a Source Candidate record and a Destination Candidate record.  The Source Candidate record contains information that you want moved into the Destination Candidate record, leaving just the one constituent record.

      When you use this utility, you'll want to be careful about overwriting current information. Before merging, update the Source Candidate with the information that you want to keep. The process described below provides options when merging some fields in step 7. Some data are always merged unconditionally to the Destination Candidate's record. Some data will overwrite the Destination Candidate's values with the Source Candidate's values. Others, like Addresses and Contacts, are merely added in addition to existing values.

        Not Merged Merged Unconditionally Merged if Selected Overwritten if Selected Comments
      Access Control (Login and Password) handouts_check_copy.png       Access Control information will be retained in the Source Candidate's record only. This means login information won't be transferred to the Destination Candidate's record. If you delete the Source Candidate's record, the user won't be able to login. It is highly recommended that Constituents with defined logins always be the Destination record.
      Donations   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Activities   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Groups   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Relations   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Notes   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Forms   handouts_check_copy.png      
      Addresses     handouts_check_copy.png  
      • Source no address > Destination 1 address = final 1 address
      • Source 1 address > Destination 0 address = final 1 address
      • Source 1(A) address > destination 1(B) address = final 2 addresses (A & B). Destination address remains Primary address. Source address does NOT become Primary.
      Contacts     handouts_check_copy.png    If selected, emails, phone numbers, URLs, and Social contacts will be moved. Destination address remains Primary address. Source address does NOT become Primary.
      Birth Date       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Deceased Date       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Race       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Gender       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Documents       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Photo       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Cultivation       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Schedule       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Services       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Membership       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Human Resources       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Human Resources/HR Employee ID       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Human Resources/HR Volunteer ID       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Inventory       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Custom Fields       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Custom Fields (Constituent, Donation, Cultivation, Membership, My Salsa CRM)       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Common (to Engage) Custom Fields       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Preferred Contact Method/Reason       handouts_check_copy.png  
      Event Management       handouts_check_copy.png  


      To check for duplicates...

      1. From the main menu, select Tools > Constituent MergeSearch for Duplicates. The Constituent Merge Utility will open.
      2. Choose filter fields that you suspect to contain duplicate information, by selecting the checkbox next to the suspect field names.
          • First Name
          • Middle Name
          • Last or Org Name—The text field located to the right of the Last or Org Name check box allows you to filter results based on the first letter of the last name or organization. If you have a lot of records, this allows you to clean your data one last name letter at a time.
          • Email Address
          • Address Line 1
          • Postal Code
          • Phone

            NOTE: Name Suffix is not a comparable field, like Jr. or Sr., so if you have a father and son with the same name in the database, and they live at the same address, they will return in your report results as a potential duplicate.
      3. Select the Run Query button. Duplicate records are returned in a table format. If there happen to be duplicate records that all match the filter criteria, you will see many combinations of those records in pairs of two. If there are 4 constituent matches, A B C and D, you will see duplicate combinations of...
        • A and B
        • A and C
        • A and D
        • B and C
        • B and D
        • C and D
          Mathematically speaking, this is called a combination without repetition. Let's just say, the combinations add up quickly!
      4. Select a row by clicking on that row once, and then select the Edit Selected Candidates button. Alternately, you can double-click on any row to compare two records. Each candidate Constituent record displays below the duplicates table in its own window.
      5. Independently scroll that window up/down or left/right to determine which record is to be the Source record and which is to be the Destination record. One or the other record may simply be deleted at this time, if there is no reason to merge them as they are utterly duplicated records.
      6. Choose either the Merge Left to Right or the Merge Right to Left button depending on which record is to be the Source record and which is to be the Destination record.
      7. The Select Information to be Moved dialog box opens. 

        The checkboxes on the left represent data sections that may optionally be copied from the Source candidate. Use these checkboxes to select which information you wish to move from your "Source" Candidate to your "Destination" Candidate. These changes will take place immediately when you select "OK", and cannot be undone.

        IMPORTANT: The last option deletes the Source Candidate constituent after the merge is completed. As with any constituent deletion from the system, this change is permanent and cannot be undone, but you are not prompted for your initials. This setting is 'sticky', meaning that whether the setting is automatically checked or unchecked is dependent on what the setting was the last time the user merged records.

        Choose the fields that you wish to move by selecting the appropriate checkboxes and then choosing OK.

      8. The Select Information report opens, listing how many records from each field were merged. Click OK.
      9. Repeat steps 4-10 for each record that you wish to merge.

      NOTE: If you have the Volunteer/Human Resources module you will need to note when merging constituent records that the General tab on the Employee and Volunteer nodes will unconditionally overwrite any pre-existing information in the Destination Candidate's record.

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