Advanced Importing

Overview: If you're technically inclined and confident with Excel, the following directions will help guide you when importing your own data into Breeze. 

Detailed Import Directions for the Following File Types

Associating Breeze IDs

One of the challenges faced when importing anything other than people is getting the correct Breeze ID into the import file. Typically users will have a file with dozens or hundreds of names and, after pasting the data into the import template, the only column that still needs to be filled in is the Breeze ID.

Depending on the number of rows in the import file, adding the Breeze ID by hand can feel anywhere from monotonous to exceedingly overwhelming. Fortunately, with a little Excel wizardry, you're able to generate a formula to do this automatically for you by cross-referencing the person's name, making a task that could take hours only take a few minutes.

The formula looks like this:

=VLOOKUP(needle, haystack, index)
Name Options Examples
In order to select a single cell to use as a reference, you may need to merge two cells such as first and last name (see example download).
Cell Reference A2


At least two of the columns must be the search column and desired response column, and the first column must be the search column. The dollar sign in the example tells Excel not to make the cell value relative if you drag it to other cells (i.e. to always use this same selection).
Range of cell references including at least 2 columns Sheet2.$A$2:$B$24


Within the haystack range, this column represents which column you'd like to return. If it's the second column, for instance, you'd put a 2.
Number (column number to return) 2

Sometimes seeing a function in action is easier than in the abstract.  If it's helpful, you can download an example here:

Note the multiple tabs on the bottom of this Excel file.

Special Characters

Some characters don't format correctly when exported/imported as CSV files. Typically these are characters outside the English language such as á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ñ, ¿, ¡, อักษรไทย, 汉字, and more. Excel doesn't do a great job opening CSV files with these characters due to how Excel treats encoding. As a result, we recommend using Open Office (, a free program similar to Microsoft Office.

When opening CSV files with Open Office, you'll have the chance to select the "Character set." Setting this to "Unicode (UTF-8)" should allow the special characters to be read properly.

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  • Isn't there an easier way to see a person's Breeze ID?  Shouldn't there be a list somewhere?  I just need IDs for 2 people so I can create the campaign.  I am very new to Breeze and pretty confused.

  • Hi Liz! 
    Welcome to the Breeze family! Are you looking to create a pledge campaign? If so, the following resource might be helpful:
    If you're simply looking for the Breeze IDs, however, once you navigate to a person's profile within Breeze, look at the website address, and that last string of numbers will be their ID. I hope that helps! If not, feel free to give us a call or send us an email and we would love to make sure everything is running smoothly and Breezily!