Manual Groups vs Smart Groups in CiviCRM

Sheila Burkett // Donor Management
CiviCRM Tips: Manual Vs. Smart Groups

Why use groups?

CiviCRM offers many ways to access and search for information on contacts, contributions, event participants, members and much more. Using a group makes running a search or accessing key information about contacts faster. In CiviCRM, groups can be designated as a mailing list or user access, but they really help improve your workflow when working in CiviCRM.

CiviCRM Find Contacts

Smart vs Manual- What's the difference?

There are two different types of groups: manual or smart groups.

  • MANUAL Groups are when you create a CiviCRM group and you manually put contacts into the group. If you want someone in that group, you have to add them to the group. For example, you may create a BOARD group and you manually add or remove board members as they come on and off the board.
  • SMART Groups are when you create a group using Advanced Search and the SMART GROUP is dynamically created based on the criteria you use to build a group. An example of a SMART GROUP could be  you designate your MAJOR DONORS as anyone who has given $1,000 or more in the last 24 months.

New Smart Group

Once you have created your groups, you can use them to do a quick search, add report criteria, or create user access or mailing lists.

CiviCRM→ Contacts→ Manage Groups