Top CiviCRM Troubleshooting Tips

Sheila Burkett // Donor Management
CiviCRM Tips Troubleshooting Common Questions FAQ

We happily help our CiviCRM clients troubleshoot issues as they arise.  While CiviCRM is a great, intuitive, and user-friendly platform, sometimes there are issues that stump even seasoned users.  We've collected our most frequently asked CiviCRM help ticket requests.

Let's solve those CiviCRM questions!

What is the difference between the Event Start & End Date in the Info and Settings tab versus the Start and End Date in the Online Registration tab in Event Configuration?

The Event Start & End Date on the Info and Settings tab applies to the date of the actual event. The Online Registration Start and End dates only apply to the date that you are accepting online registrations.

Online Registration Tab

How do I find specific information about donors?

CiviCRM has a wide variety of reports and robust reporting features which allow you to easily customize existing reports or create entirely new reports. Administrative users can configure filters to narrow down the results and configure fields to be included in the report results. Each area (Contributions, Memberships, or Events) has a dashboard that immediately gives you a summary of activity that has occurred. These areas also have a FIND option (Find Contributions for example) that allows you to search on specific criteria. And if all of the above falls short,  try ADVANCED SEARCH (under Search), which provides even more ways to pull the information you're looking for.

A Sample Listing of CiviCRM Reports provided out of the box under REPORTS.

CiviCRM Reports

Can I import and export data with CiviCRM?

Yes, data can be exported and imported out of CiviCRM. Contacts, activities, contributions, event participants and memberships can all be imported into CiviCRM using a CSV file. Most search and reports give you the option to export information from CiviCRM into a CSV file.

Import and Export

Can I create conditional questions on my website that will automatically store the information in CiviCRM?

Yes! Drupal has modules that can be installed that allow for seamless integration. We love the Webform, Webform CiviCRM integration, and Webform conditional modules. When users submit the form online, the information is saved to the CiviCRM database.

How do I export CiviCRM records into a format for Mailing Labels?

When doing a search in CiviCRM, you will receive the list of contacts and a list of actions. Select the contacts you want to export into mailing labels, select MAILING LABELS in the action box, and click GO. You will be given the option to eliminate contacts with DO NOT MAIL selected, merge contacts with the same address and merge contacts in the same household.

  1. Select *all* or *selected records* option
  2. Select Mailing Labels from Drop Down Actions Menu > Select GoALT TEXT HERE
  3. Select Mailing Label Format (ex. Avery 5160)Select The Mailing Label Format
  4. Select Make Mailing Labels.

A PDF file will be downloaded to your computer to send to your printer for labels.

How do you make CiviCRM form fields required in online CiviCRM forms?

This is controlled in the Custom Data and Screens – Profiles section or you can indicate it is a required field in the Custom Fields section.

  1. CiviCRM > Administer > Custom Data and Screens > Profiles > Fields Required Fields in CiviCRM


  2. Edit Field > CHECK Required box. > Save Check the REQUIRED box, then save


Can Activities be customized?

Yes, you can add custom Activity Types. Go to:  CiviCRM > Administer > Custom Data and Screens > Activity Types > Add or Edit Activity Type

Does CiviCRM automatically send an email receipt to users?

Yes. CiviCRM will automatically email a receipt to users if they provide an email address and the email receipt option is selected in the Contribution or Event setup. The receipt can be customized with plain text and includes a summary. Additionally, reminders to events can also be scheduled to be sent to participants through CiviCRM.

Automatically send email receipts

Is there a limit to the number of records in CiviCRM?

No, unlike many other CRM and Donor Management solutions, there is no limit to the number of contacts, events, contributions, or memberships you record.

Can I use a payment processor outside of the United States?

Yes, CiviCRM accepts a large variety of payment processors. However, it is important to review the currencies and the technical changes that are needed when configuring the payment processor.