Couples and Households

Not every couple is the same, so there is more than one way to track them in the database. The right approach depends on your organization's preference and on your relationship with the members of the couple/household. There are two main options:

1. Create a single Account

Option 1 is pretty straightforward; you will create a new Constituent Account and fill in the Account and Persona information to address the couple as a whole. Use the Titles and Salutations help document in deciding how to set up things like Short, Long, and Envelope Salutations.

2. Create two separate Accounts and link them using a Household Relationship

Option 2 requires a lot more work to set up because it involves two different Accounts and configuring a Household Relationship in the database. We’re going to spend the majority of our time discussing best practices for this option.

Household Relationship Questions

Preparing for Household Relationship

Before we start adding these accounts and linking them together, we need to make sure the database is configured in a way that the information you add makes sense together.

Relationship Types

All Relationships must be configured in your database as a Relationship Type first. We suggest using just the same Relationship Type for couples consistently.

Persona Types

You will now need to add a Joint persona type option to your database if you don't already have one. Each partner in the Relationship will have their own Personal Persona filled out on their separate Accounts, but the primary member should have a Joint Persona as well.

Getting Started

Now that your database is configured with things you need for Households, we can start setting them up!

You should have already done the following:

We need a Joint Persona on the Primary partner’s account so that you can mail to them jointly and address them as such. In addition, it is necessary to keep the Personal Persona on their account, because there may be times when you want to mail to the individual.

Combining Household Data for Mailings

If you will need to mail to the Household, you probably don’t want to send multiple letters to the same address. When you have accounts in a Household Relationship, there are options you can select when creating Mailing Labels or Documents so that you address both the primary partner and the member in the same letter.

Creating Mailing Labels Grouped by Household

Step 1: Choose to show the Joint Persona as the top hierarchy. This will make it so that if an Account has a Joint Persona it will be shown on the label. If an Account does not have a Joint Persona, their Primary Persona will be used.

Step 2: Choose the Grouping option as Household. This will make it so that only the Primary’s Joint Persona will be listed on the label.

Creating Documents Grouped by Household

Steps 1: Choose to show the Joint Persona as the top hierarchy. This will make it so that if an Account has a Joint Persona it will be shown on the document. If an Account does not have a Joint Persona, their Primary Persona will be used.

Step 2: Choose the Grouping option as Household. This will make it so that only the Primary’s Joint Persona will be listed on the document. If your Query is pulling Journal Entries, all Members of the Household’s Journal Entries will be in the single Household document as well.

Querying on Household Data

One common query that organizations use is in regards to Household Cumulative data. If you want to find particular donors that meet cumulative criteria, such as “Gave $100+ in 2014” you may want to consider all Household accounts when doing so. If you have a couple with two different accounts that both live under the same roof we would need to use special criteria to find out if their Household meets that $100 altogether. The Query for that would look something like this:

Now that you have the Households that meet your criteria along with all of their Journal Entries, you can run a Report that shows them all listed together on one line.

Combining Household Data in Reports

Using the Query you created above, you can build a Report that groups the results your Query is finding onto just one line per household. When you do this, the Primary account will be listed above all else. On Step 12 you will choose which Persona from the Primary account will be shown in the results. If you keep Household data on the Joint Persona, this is where you would select that option to show the Household’s Salutations.

Household Shortcuts & Tips

How to create a Related Account with the same Primary Persona Information

Household Data in Queries

Households in Reports