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Trigger Tool: How to Create and Auto-Assign Households
Jessica Mocha 1/30/2024 11:24:00 AM

If your organization utilizes households within CharityEngine and would like to automatically create and assign new contacts as the head of household when they are created, you can use the Trigger Tool in the Automation & Workflow Application to create the household record and assign a person contact as the head of the household. It is important to note that this trigger will only assign the head of house to the household and not any of the other members of the household. For example, if your data source is finding anyone who was created within the last week that is not already a household member and a married couple falls into that category, two households will be created, one for each individual person. Because of this, you will need to review any changes that you make with feature and if you need to combine households, you can do so with our De-Dupe Household tool.


Before you can use the Create & Assign Person Household trigger, you have to identify your data source using a query in the Contacts Database. The criteria that identifies someone needing to be assigned to a household is dependent on your business practices, but for this article, we will assume that all contacts should be added to a household. To create a query that identifies anyone not in a household already, navigate to Automation & Workflow and under the General section, click on Queries. Click on Create New and select the Contacts database and the Contacts table.

In the select field, the only required field is the Contact Id, however you can select any other fields you may find useful while viewing the report, such as First and Last Name, Date created, and any other contact information. In the filter section of your query add contact type id and set that to equal Person to only pull in people type contacts, then to find anyone not already in a household, add the Household Contact Id field to the filter and set Equal to 0. Your query should look similar to the below, but may have additional fields dependent on your business practices:


Creating the Trigger

When you are ready to create your trigger, navigate to the Automation & Workflow application and under the Workflow section, click on Trigger, then click Create New in the upper right corner. Select Create & Assign Person Household as your type form the dropdown.

Select the query you have already created as your data source. This is the query you created as a prerequisite to creating the trigger and identifies anyone who is not already a member in a household.

On the Settings tab, you can name and add any emails you want to be notified that the trigger has run. After you have configured your settings, click Next and review your job prior to processing.

Set Up a Recurring Schedule

If you would like this trigger to be run on a regular basis to auto-create and assign people to households, you can set up a recurring schedule for the trigger to run. After you have clicked process you can set up the schedule immediately by clicking on Setup Recurring Schedule.

If you decide at a later time to setup the schedule for the trigger you can simiply navigate back to the Trigger listing scree, (Automation & Workflow > Workflow > Triggers) and locate your trigger. Under Actions, click on Schedule to set up the recurring schedule for the trigger.

Enter in a name that will identify the Schedule, for example "Auto-Assign New Contacts to Household" and add in an optional description. Then click Save.

After you click Save, you will see the Notifications Tab and the Triggers tab where you will be able to identify anyone who will receive an email notifying that the job as run and set the frequency of the job. On the Notification tab, enter the emails of the recipients, if you have multiple recipients separate the emails with a coma, and enter the Email subject. By default, whoever is creating the schedule will already be listed as a recipient 

On the Triggers tab, use the dropdowns to set the frequency of the job. For example, if you want this to run monthly, Select Month form the first dropdown, then select the day of the month from the second dropdown, and lastly, select the time of day you want this to run. 

Now that you have set the trigger to run at your preferred frequency, every time the job runs, it will create and assign contacts to households.


Q: What happens when a married couple are both pulled into the query because neither of them are in a household?
A: A household will be created for everyone who is pulled into the query. If a married couple is pulled into the query, two household will be created with the same name. For example if John Smith and Jane Smith are created through both of them submitting on a form and then get pulled into the query, there will be two "The Smith Households". You can then de-dupe the households by using our De-Dupe tool. If you need assistance with preforming this task, read this article: Data Hygiene: De-Dupe Households

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