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Importing Relationships
Jessica Mocha 5/14/2023 7:07:00 PM

When importing contacts, it is important to think about the relationships they have with other contacts within the database, such as spouse, parent-child, employee-employer, etc.. Creating these relationships within CharityEngine will help organize and group contacts.


  • It is important to note that CharityEngine can support relationships vs. connections. A relationship (i.e. a Head of Household/Spouse of a Household or an employee of an organization) will roll transactions up to the Household or Organization record. A connection allows the user to see connections across people or organizational records (i.e.  a member of an organization or related person to another person). In a connection, the donations of the contact will NOT roll into the household or organization record. As a result, it is important to evaluate your organization's data to determine if the record should be considered in the roll up or simply needs a connection. 

Importing relationships can be done in two ways using the importer tool, by importing to people or by importing to relationships.

Importing to People

If the related person already exists within the CharityEngine database and the record already contains their personal information, you can import to people by navigating to Automation & Workflow > General > Import & Export > Create New > Import and selecting People from the Import to dropdown.

Add the fields for the contact you are importing by clicking Add Fields

Note: the only required fields for importing a contact is first name and last name, however for best practices add any information such as address, email, and phone, that you have for that contact.

To ensure that the relationship is created, you will need to add the related person Contact Id and Related Person Type.

CharityEngine does have system related person types such as child, partner, or employer, but custom relationship types can also be created based off the needs of the organization.

Note: the related person must already exist within the CharityEngine database and have a contact Id

Note: none of the related person’s contact record information will be updated, besides the relationship.

If the relationship is the primary relationship for the imported contact, add the Related Person is Primary Relationship field.

Use this template to continue to import the contact record.

You can also import employer information by importing to people. For more assistance in importing employer information, read this article.

Importing to Relationships

If neither contact exists in CharityEngine, data needs to be updated for either contact, or the only data being imported is the relationship, navigate to Automation & Workflow > General > Import & Export > Create New > Import and select Relationships from the Import to dropdown.

Next, add the fields to the template of the data you are importing or updating by clicking Add Fields. If either contact already exists in CharityEngine you will only need to add the contact Ids, but if either contact does not exist add all the fields you have data for, such as first name, last name, email address, home address, and phone number.

Note: if one or both contacts already exist in CharityEngine you will want to add contact Id as a field. When importing to relationships, there is no contact matching unless a contact Id is used. If contact Id is not an imported field, a new contact record will be created, which could cause a duplicate contact record if the contact already exists.

Use the template to create your excel sheet and finish the import of the contacts.


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