[Donor Management System] Understanding & Managing Relationships

Understanding Relationships

Your DMS allows you to configure relationships between Contacts, such as “Employee of Company X” or “Household member of Household Y”. Relationships can be set as follows:

  • Individual to Individual
  • Individual to Organization
  • Individual to Household

These, while entirely optional, can be beneficial in ensuring better reporting, more efficient and cost-effective communication (e.g.: not mailing three appeals to the same address!) and more nuanced Contact segmentation.


How to add a Relationship

From the Contact’s Profile Page

1. On the Contacts Tab, search for the desired Contact and select its name

2. Select the (2) Actions menu on the upper-right side of the page and then (3) Add Relationship

3. Once selected, the Add Relationship for Contact popup will appear

4. Select the Relationship Type your Contact is associated with (e.g.: “Child of”, “Sibling of”, “Employee of”, etc.)

5. Type the name of the Contact in the Contact(s) field:

  • Individual Contact: type either only “Last name”, only “First name”, or for a full name type “Last name, First name”
  • Organization Contact: type the full or partial name of the Organization
  • Household Contact: type the full or partial name of the Household.

6. You can keep a history of past Relationships that may not be current anymore or that will expire at some point by using Start Date and End Date (e.g.: “Employee of”):

  • Setting an End Date as a date in the past will switch the Relationship to the Inactive Relationships panel.
  • Likewise, an End Date that was initially set in the future but has now been met/passed will change the Relationship to Inactive.

7. Description and Note fields serve as a way to attach additional information to the Contact’s Relationships. Please note these are not searchable fields and should not be used as a tracking tool

8. Select Save Relationship at the bottom right when all your necessary fields are entered.


From the Contacts Tab

If you are adding the exact same Relationship for several Contacts but don’t require most in-depth records such as a time range or Relationship Notes, it would be more efficient to do so from your Contact Tab following a Simple or Advanced Search.

1. To add a Relationship, select one or more Contacts by checking the box on the left side of the Contact Name

2. Once you have selected the Contact(s), click the Actions button on the top left corner of the page

3. Either type “relationship” in the Actions search bar or scroll the list to find the Add Relationship options, and select the applicable action

4. Once selected, you will be brought to the Relationship Type & Target page.

5. Select the Relationship Type your Contact belongs to (e.g.: “Child of”, “Sibling of”, “Employee of”, etc.)

6. Type the name of the Contact in the Find Target (…) field:

  • Individual Contact: type either only “Last name”, only “First name”, or for a full name type “Last name, First name”
  • Organization Contact: type the full or partial name of the Organization
  • Household Contact: type the full or partial name of the Household.

Note: resulting Contacts will only show once the “search” button has been selected

7.  Select the correct Contact to add the Relationship to under Mark Target Contact(s) for this Relationship

8. Select the Add to (…) button to add the Relationship to the selected Contact


Managing an existing Relationship

Once a Relationship has already been established, it can be viewed, modified or deleted from the Contact’s Profile Page.

Edit an existing Relationship

1. Under the Relationships tab, navigate to the specific Relationship you want to edit and select Edit

2. The Edit Relationship for (…) popup will show up

3. Change the Relationship Type your Contact is associated with (e.g.: “Member of Household” to “Head of Household”)

4. You can keep a history of past Relationships that may not be current anymore or that will expire at some point by using Start Date and End Date (e.g.: “Employee of”):

  • Editing an End Date as a date in the past will switch the Relationship to the Inactive Relationship panel.
  • Likewise, an End Date that was initially set in the future but has now been met/passed will change the Relationship to Inactive.

5. Description and Note fields serve as a way to attach additional information to the Contact’s Relationships. Please note these are not searchable fields and should not be used as a tracking tool.

6. Select Save Relationship at the bottom right when all your necessary fields are entered.


Disable an existing Relationship

1. Under the Relationships tab, navigate to the specific Relationship you want to disable and select the “3 vertical dots” icon

2. Then select Disable (make sure to click on the word “Disable” for the button to take effect)

3. You will be asked to confirm if you want to disable this Relationship, then select Yes

4. The Relationship will be displayed under the Inactive Relationships panel.

5. You can enable this Relationship back again by selecting the “3 vertical dots icon” and then Enable.


Delete an existing Relationship

1. Under the Relationships tab, navigate to the specific Relationship you want to delete and select the “3 vertical dots” icon

2. Then select Delete (make sure to click on the word “Delete” for the button to take effect)

3. You will be asked to confirm if you want to delete this Relationship, then select Delete

Note: You won’t be able to retrieve a deleted Relationship.


Add a new Relationship Type

You are able to create custom Relationship Types in the DMS to further segment your Contact’s Relationships.

1. On the Contacts Tab, search for the desired Contact and select its name

2. Under the Relationships tab, select Add Relationship

3. On the Add Relationship for (…) popup, select the “wrench icon” to the right of Relationship Type

4. A new popup will appear showing you the existing Relationship Types and the ability to Edit or Delete each one of them

5. To add a new Relationship Type, select the Add Relationship Type button at the bottom right corner of the screen

6. Follow the on-screen steps and select Save.

Was this article helpful?