Managing Multiple Family Members (spouses, households, etc)

Often we want to maintain records for both a donor and the spouse of the donor. Sometimes we want to contact them individually (e.g. by email) but only sending one postal letter or appeal letter (that might be addressed to, for example, Jamie and Frankie Smith).

The answer?: Use Spouse/Partner relationships!

Although we fully support equal relationships, when it comes to Powerbase you have to choose which person in the couple is the "main" person. This is usually the person most involved in the organization. They are the ones who will be assigned the contributions when the contributions come in.

Here are the steps to take. In this example, suppose that Winfrey Bentley is the main contact and Frances Clark is their partner.

One time setup

Your first step is a setup step. Different Powerbase installations have differently named relationships. You want to be sure that your Powerbase knows which relationship is the one to be used for partner/spouses.

Click Adminster -> Customize Data and Screens -> Spouse Settings

Ensure that you have a relationship entered as the Spouse/Partner Relationship (usually it will simply be called: "Spouse/Partner"). If no relationship is selected, find the Spouse/Partner relationship and enter it.

For each couple, take a few steps to get the data right

Ensure the direction of the Spouse/Partner relationship is correct

Next, lookup the "main" person in the relationship, in this case Winfrey. Click the relationships tab and ensure they have a relationship set to Frances. And, be sure it is Spouse/Parnter Is (not Spouse/Parnter Of).

Since Winfrey is the main contact, we say "Winfrey's spouse/partner is Frances" and "Frances is the spouse/partner of Winfrey". The language is subtle but it is designed to show who the main contact is.

Ensure the postal greeting is correct

Set the addressee and the postal greeting of the "main" contact to include BOTH names. Select the appropriate option from the list or click CUSTOMIZE to type in a custom greeting.

Here is the setting for Postal Greeting:

Here is the setting for Addressee:

Ensure the spouse is sharing their address with the main contact

If Winfrey and Frances share the same address, then click on Frances's record. Check the box to "Use another contact's address" for their address and select Winfrey's address. This step ensures that the database knows they are sharing the same address and should only get one mailing.

Ready to go!

When recording a donation be sure to record them under the main contacts name.

When you send letters, the main contact's postal greeting will always include their partner.

Collecting and Managing Contact Information