Turning a list of new contacts into a team and signing them up administratively. (Batch creation 101)

The trickiest administrative chore is administratively taking a list of NEW contacts, adding them to a team, and then making connections for the team members.  This post shows you the quickest way to accomplish this using Salesforce's new import wizard, along with advanced features in HandsOn Connect to quickly create contacts, a team, add the contacts to the team, and then make team connections for them! It's a multi-step process but when you have the right steps down, it can become quick and easy.

If the contacts already exist in the system you do not need Steps 1 and 2 below.  For more info see the posts batch creating team members and batch creating connections

In this scenario we are discussing the 'bare bones' approach.  You have a list of names, and just want to connect them to a team and an opportunity (and don't expect them to ever log in, create accounts, or manage themselves.)

NOTE:  For importing contacts, or any other object, you can find a HOC Data Mapping Table here:  

One-Time Preparation:

The following should be done before your first import.  These features and resources will be used each time you do this in the future. Once they're in place you're ready to go!

Your system Administrator should have enabled batch create for Team Members and Connections.  and given access to you as a user.

Create a custom report to use for your team connection batch imports.

Create a view called "Contacts Created Today" - that gives you quick and easy access to newly-imported contacts you wish to add to a team and connect to an occurrence.

One-Time Preparation:

Step 1: Use a .csv template to prepare your contacts for import.

Create a .csv template that has the fields you wish to import for your new contacts.

The only fields that are required for a contact for a team member are:

  • FirstName
  • LastName
  • Contact: Organization Name   (which should be the salesforce ID for the "Individual" organization (not it's name - since its a lookup field),    (See screenshot below)   [Note: if you have another organization you want to associate these contacts with, a business for example, then put in the ID of that organization instead of the individual organization.
  • Contact: Primary Address? = Home
  • Primary Phone? = Home
  • Registration Status = Pending(Team Registration)
  • Email  (this field is optional - leave blank if unknown - but if you think the contact will ever log-in and want to create an account, then enter an email address)

Note:  If there are other pending (team registration) contacts with the same name - importing here will create duplicate contacts.

You can, of course, add additional contact info if you desire -- but these are the minimums that are needed.  

(To use, just update the FirstName and LastName in row 2 and all subsequent rows, and copy the values in columns C through G to all rows.)

Save the file as a .csv file.

Step 2: Import Data using the SF "Data Import Wizard" beta in the setup menu.

Click "Launch Wizard"

What kind of data are you importing: Organizations and Contacts

What do you want to do?:  Add new and update existsing records  (do not trigger workflow rules)  -- (This is because we are adding new contacts, but not new organizations!)

  • Match contact by name (though if you have email addresses for ALL the records - then choose EMAIL here which will avoid creating duplicate contacts!)
  • Match account by Organization Name and Organization Site   (because we are not adding or updating any organization records)

Where is your data located:  drag and drop your csv file - or choose it using the file picker.

Click the NEXT button

Edit Field Mapping:

If you used the attached import template, most of the fields will automatically be mapped.  

The one that won't be mapped is Contact: Organization Name -- Click on Map and manually map as shown below.

(If you add additional contact fields - make sure you have the exact field name, or you can manually map the fields here)

Click on Map and map Contact: Organization Name to Contact: Organization Name

Note: Do not map it to Organization: Organization Name.   (it's the first one listed of the contact fields).  Click on it. And then click the Map button to complete the mapping.

Now that everything is mapped - click on 'next'

Review and Start Import

Click on the Start Import button and your contacts will be added to the system.

You'll automatically be taken to the Bulk Data Load Job Detail page where you can monitor the results of your import.  (Click on "View Result" to see if you have any errors and your import succeeded.)

Step 3 - Use the Contacts View you've created to create your team and its member records:

Select the records you just created. (Note, in this example there were other records created.  The one witha  Contact Owner Alias of "guest" was a registration from the public site.  So I don't select that.   If you do this a lot - you can modify your view to ONLY show the contacts that have your Contact Owner Alias :-)

Click on the Create Team Members button.

If the team already exists, you can look it up.  In our case, we're creating a new team, so we'll enter the team information.  

The Organization optional - but if you want the team to be associated with an existing organization in the database you can add that info here.

Click the "Create Volunteer Team" button to create the team.


The team is automatically populated for you in the lookup field now.  

Create the team members by clicking the Create Volunteer Team Members button.

(Optional) Go to the team member record if you wish to designate one or more team members as the captain.

Note:  They MUST have an email address associated with their contact record if you make them a team captain.  You then should encourage them to register on the public site with the same email address so they can actually manage the team.

It is not necessary however for anyone to be a team captain if you're going to manage their connections administratively.

Step 4: Run and export the report needed to import connections for team members and save as a .csv file.

Customize the report by adding one filter to select the team name you wish to create connections for.  Save, and then Export the report as a .csv file.

Remove the footer on the .csv file, and save.

Step 5: Import the connections

Click on the "Import Connections" link in the sidebar widget.

Step 5: Import the connections


Upload the file and select the column containing the Contact ID and the Team Member ID.  Click Next


Then populate four fields:

  • Look up the Volunteer Opportunity Name
  • Look up the Occurrence  (the lookup field will only show you the occurrences for this opportunity, and has enough info to make it easy to select the correct one)
  • Set status to Confirmed (you can select other statuses if desired - but administratively one would typically be confirming volunteers)
  • Set Attendance Status as appropriate  (Typically "Please verify" for occurrences in the future.  But you can mark them as "Attended" if you are bulk importing connections for a past occurrence.

Then click on the "Create Connections" button.

Then populate four fields:

You did it!

You've now administratively:

  • Created a contact record for each 'pending' team volunteer
  • Created a volunteer team
  • Created team member records for each contact
  • Created team connections for each member!

If contacts already exist in the system and you can create a filtered view of the existing contacts, then you can skip Steps 1 & 2.   Just create a view for the contacts you wish to add to a team and start with step 3.


Melissa Hill Dees

Yay! I finally did it! It works! Great instructions, Larry!

Larry Deckel

A lot of power in these new features once you get used to the process!

Larry Deckel

Note: Instructions and import template updated as of November 15, 2013. Please use latest version of template.

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