What are Relationships in CiviCRM and How to Manage Them?

Relationships in CiviCRM are a way to represent relations between different contacts. For instance, if you have both son and father’s record in your system, it can be helpful to determine the connection between them by looking at either record. CiviCRM also allows you to track relationships between records and organizations and between organizations. For instance, when you enter any employee into an organization’s data, the relationship ‘employee of’ will automatically get created in the individual employee record.

How to Create Relationships in CiviCRM?

This step by step instruction will help you create relationships for any record.

#1 Select the record you wish to create the relationship for.

#2 From the Actions menu in the contact summary, click on Add Relationship.

#3 Choose the type of relationship you want to create, such as father of, son of, daughter of, sibling of, etc.

#4 Choose the contacts based on the type of relationship. For example, if you are choosing sibling of relation in the Relationship Type in the previous step, then add all the names of siblings in this step.

#5 Enter other optional information, such as start & end date – if you want a relationship to be valid only for a certain time, description of the relationship, permission for viewing and editing, and enabling the relationship option.

#6 When you have gone through all the options, click on Save Relationship button to save the relationship.

How to Manage Relationship Permissions?

Relationship permissions allow one record to have control over its related record. If User A is given ‘View’ permission for User B, then A can view all the details of B. If A is given permission to ‘View and Update’ B, then A can also make changes about B. You can extend this functionality through Related Permissions extensions.

How to Create New Relationship Types?

CiviCRM is pre-loaded with some common types of relationships that can be utilized to represent the connection between records. However, if a relationship type you are looking for is not listed, then CiviCRM allows you to create custom relationship types.

#1 From the navigation menu, select Administer > Cutomize Data and Screens > Relationship types.

#2 Before creating new a relationship type, go through the list of all the existing relationship types to make sure you don’t create a duplicate one.

#3 Click on New Relationship Type to begin creating a new type of relationship.

#4 Enter descriptive labels for the relationship type you are creating in the Relationship Label-A to B and Relationship Label-B to A. The Relationship of A to B field describes the connection between User A to B while Relationship of B to A describes the connection between B to A.

#5 Use the Contact Type A and Contact Type B  fields to assign what type of contacts are being associated with your relationship. Make sure you choose contact types that make sense when matched to your Relationship Labels.

#6 You can then enter the description of the relationship type if you wish, which may be useful to convey the type of relationship that may not be understandable to other users.

#7 Tick the Enabled box to activate this Relationship type unless you plan to allow the users to use it later.

#8 Click on the Save button and you will see a message that your Relationship type has been saved.

How to Disable or Delete Any Relationship Type?

If your enterprise no longer needs any relationship type, you can either delete it or disable it.

#1 From the navigation menu, select Administer > Option Lists > Relationship types.

#2 Click on More for the relationship type you would like to delete or disable.

#3 Choose Delete or Disable from the menu.

#4 Selecting Delete will permanently delete the relationship type, while choosing Disable will allow you to enable it in the future.

#5 If you want to Enable a relationship type that has been disabled previously, follow Step #1 and #2 and choose Enable from More menu.

Source: CiviCRM Development Company

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