New Individual Contact

The INDIVIDUAL contact function allows you to track the activities of a particular person. It is used for members, donors, employees, volunteers, voters, attendees, activists, etc.

Once an INDIVIDUAL contact is created, you can use the RELATIONSHIP feature to associate INDIVIDUALS with ORGANIZATIONS, HOUSEHOLDS, even other INDIVIDUALS.

It is not required to create a separate individual contact for every member of a HOUSEHOLD, simply create a New HOUSEHOLD contact record. However, generally you will create an INDIVIDUAL contact record for each person in a household that you want to track, then relate them to a Household contact record, since you might do regular mailings just to the household, but email to an individual in the household.

Create New Individual Contact

From the CiviCRM Home screen, click on the New Individual shortcut. You will be brought to the New Individual entry screen.

Note that additional sections and/or fields may appear on this form if Custom Fields have been configured by the administrator. See Custom Fields.

After entering information, be sure to click SAVE to save the contact, click SAVE and NEW to save the contact and show a new blank contact form or CANCEL if you do not wish to save the information.

Name and Greeting

Here you fill in the fields for the Prefix, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Suffix, Greeting, Nick Name, Job Title and Website. For the website field, CiviCRM will automatically fill in the http://, so hit the right arrow key to begin typing the rest of the address.

You can choose from drop-down lists for Prefix, Suffix and Greeting style. These lists can be modified by Administrators.

Enter all the information you have into the appropriate fields, including the appropriate Prefix, Suffix, Job Title, Greeting style and Website address.

A first and last name or an email address are REQUIRED, but entering more information is recommended for every new contact.

The Nick Name field is supplied to allow users to search by nickname. For example, if your CONTACT name is Cuthbert R. Smithfield, but this person goes by the nickname "Red", entering "Red" into the nickname field will allow users to search on the name "Red".

The Check for Matching Contacts option helps avoid duplicate entries. After entering all of the information you have in this section, click on Check for Matching Contacts. If no matching contacts are found you will see the message "No matching contact found".

If a matching contact exists, you will get a message like this:

"One matching contact was found. You can edit it here: Jane Doe, or click Save Duplicate Contact button below."

Review the existing contact information to determine if the existing record duplicates the one you are trying to enter as new. If so, click CANCEL to cancel entry or click the edit it here link to edit the contact record.

Communications Preferences

Here you indicate the preferred Privacy, Prefers and Mail Format information.

Click on the appropriate boxes next to the Privacy options to choose the privacy requests and on Prefers options to indicate preferred communication method.

For Mail Format, choose whether the contact prefers HTML or plain-text format emails. "Both" is the default and is safest. This means the mail is delivered in both formats and the recipient's email client configuration determines which version they see.

Primary Location

This section holds Phone number, Email address, Instant Messenger and Address information.

Each location allows multiple phone numbers, email addresses and IM services/screen names.

if there are fields in this section that you do not use, i.e., Additional Address 2, your administrator can remove those fields from this section. See Address Settings.

You can indicate if the Primary Location is Home, Work, Main or Other in the drop-down menu. Your administrator can modify or create new Location Types.

Indicate if this location is the Primary location for this contact. It is optional to name the location.

You can assign a Location Name to differentiate between multiple addresses, e.g. secondary, vacation or temporary homes.

Enter the Phone number(s), Email address(es) and Instant Messenger service/screen name(s) in the appropriate fields.
Click on "another phone", "another email" or "another IM" to add additional data.

Enter the Address information in the appropriate fields.

Use Household Address - Check this option if you want to use a shared household address for this individual. You can either select an existing household, or create a new one. This will connect this contact with the household address, useful when doing postal mailings.

Starting with v1.8 - there's a convenient way to add multiple members of the same household and have them share a single household address.

  • For the first contact in a household, on the "New Individual screen - check the Use Household Address field and accept the default Create New Household
  • Enter the new Household's name, and enter the Household address below.
  • When you save contact record - both the Individual and a related (household member of) Household record are created. The Individual's address is saved as a read-only copy of the Household address.
  • For subsequent household members - check Use Household Address and Select Existing Household. Type in the first few letters of the household name, and select it.
  • When you save these records, they are automatically "related" to the selected household - again with a "shared address".

Latitude, Longitude - If you have a mapping provider configured by your administrator (see Mapping and Geocoding), these values will be automatically filled in when you SAVE the record.

Your administrator can configure this screen to allow any number of Additional Locations under Address Settings. The default number of locations starting with version 1.8 will be 1. With this default set you will NOT see an Additional Location link.

Click on the + Additional Location link to add additional locations. Additional location sections use the same fields as Primary Location section.


This section includes the Gender, Date of Birth and Contact Deceased options.

Click on a gender label to indicate the contact's gender.

Using the drop-down menus, indicate the day, month and year for Date of Birth, or use the calendar.

Click on the Contact Deceased label to select this option. When you perform a search prior to sending a mailing, you can then exclude any contacts labeled as Deceased to avoid sending unnecessary mailings.


This section allows you to type in Notes about this contact to provide information not found elsewhere in the contact record.

Tags and Groups

In this section you can assign the contact to a GROUP (i.e., enewsletter subscribers) as well as TAG contacts to indicate specific attributes (i.e, Major Donor).

Be sure to read the Tags and Groups sections for more information about proper usage of these functions.

After entering information, be sure to click SAVE to save the contact, SAVE and NEW to save the contact and show a new blank contact form or CANCEL if you do not wish to save the information. SAVE will bring you to the Contact Summary page with the message " record has been saved"