Working with Relationships

What is a Relationship?

Relationships are connections between contact records in your database. Each connection can be named to describe the nature of the connection, and a contact may have many relationships to other contacts in the database.

Contacts may have Employee/Employer relationships or Parent/Child relationships or Sibling relationships.

There are 14 core Relationship Types including: Board Member of, Employee of, and Volunteer for.

Contacts can have relationships with set start and end dates. For example, a contact could have a relationship "Committee Chair" to an organization for a one year period. In order to track past Committee Chairs, you can keep a record of the contact having an inactive Committee Chair relationship.
For more in-depth discussion on how and when to use Relationships, see the Floss CiviCRM Manual on Contacts: Relationships.

Create a New Relationship Type

You can create, track, and keep a history any type of relationship that is relevant to your organization. To create a new Relationship Type:

  1. In the Administration Menu across the top of your page, select Administer → Option Lists → Relationship Types.
  2. Scroll down the page.
  3. Click the New Relationship Type button.
  4. Enter the relationship for contact A of the relationship.
  5. Enter the relationship for contact B of the relationship.
  6. Select the Contact Type for contact A in the Contact Type A drop-down.
  7. Select the Contact Type for contact B in the Contact Type B drop-down.
  8. Enter a Description, if desired.
  9. Make sure that Enabled? Is checked.
  10. Click the Save button to save the relationship. This relationship will now be available for use on the Relationship tab of your contact page.

Create a Relationship

To create a relationship between two contacts:

  1. Search for either contact using the Search feature (See Search for a Contact).
  2. Click the View link to open the contact in View mode.
  3. Click the Relationships tab.
  4. Click the New Relationship button.
  5. Select the Relationship Type from the drop-down.
  6. Begin typing the name of the second contact in the Find Target Contact.
  7. This field is a searchable field. As soon as you begin typing, CiviCRM will begin searching for a match.
    Once the match is found:

  8. Select the match.
  9. Click the Search button.
  10. CiviCRM searches for the full record of the match.

  11. Check the check-box for the matching entry.
  12. If this relationship has a time period associated with it, enter a Start Date and an End Date.
  13. Enter a Description or Notes for future reference.
  14. If you want these contacts to be able to view and update each others information, check the check-boxes for Contact A can view and update information for selected contact(s) and/or Selected contact(s) can view and update information for Contact A.
  15. Click the Save Relationship button to save the relationship. The relationship now appears below the tabs under Current Relationships.