Manual Groups vs Smart Groups in CiviCRM

Posted by & filed under Tips.

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

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.

Turn an Advanced Search into a New Smart Group by selecting the records after a search and the action New Smart Group.

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

To determine if you have a “smart group” or not, you can check the settings by going into CiviCRM > Contacts > Manage Groups the system indicates if it is a smart group or not.