Creating Custom Relationship Types

The relationship types define the association between the relationship and the record that has the relationship. When creating relationship types, think through the associations that records can have. Family associations like Spouse, Child, Brother, Mother, Father, etc., are most common. There can also be associations between person records and datasets—for example, a relationship type of Steward for a fund or a Primary Contact for a company.

creating relationship types

Prompt Configuration

Relationship types are created and managed in the Prompts tool in the database section. The prompts tool can be found under the Records and Datasets header and can be located quickly using the search bar.

The prompts tool can be found under the Records and Datasets header and can be located quickly using the search bar.

There are five key components to a relationship-type prompt Key, Value, Category, Order, and XML.   

five key components to a relationship type prompt Key, Value, Category, Order, and XML

Prompt Key:

Relationship types use the very specific prompt key of relationship_type. Any prompt created with the relationship_type prompt key will be available as a relationship type.  

Prompt Value:

In the value section of the prompt, provide the name of the relationship type. With default settings, the relationship name will display to administrators and constituents.

Prompt Category:

While not required, giving each relationship type prompt a category value is highly recommended. The value for the prompt category should be a value that groups like relationship types together. For example, Son and Daughter relationship type prompts can both have a Child category. Likewise, the inverse of Mother and Father can have a category of Parent. Lastly, the Husband, Wife, and Spouse can have a category of Spouse.


It is strongly recommended to give relationship-type prompts a Category value. The relationship type category will assist with the head of household and salutations calculations.

Prompt Order:

The database ranks relationships on a record. Relationships that do not have a relationship-type prompt category will be ranked together. Relations with a relationship-type prompt with a category are ranked in that category. A record can have multiple rank category 1 relations, but just one per relationship type category. For example, suppose a record has two relationships with the type of mother and a father, and both of these relationship types have the category parent. In that case, one will be assigned rank 1, and the other will be given rank 2. Suppose this record has one other relationship with a type of husband, and the category for husband is configured as spouse. In that case, that relation record will be assigned rank 1.

When no relationship type prompt order exists, the ranking of the relationships is determined alphabetically by the relationship type prompt value. When a relationship-type prompt order exists, the relationship rank will be determined numerically by the relationship type prompt order value.

The other use for a prompt order is to change the order in which the prompts appear in a list. A list of prompts, by default, will display alphabetically when no order is provided. To display a list of prompts in a specific order, provide a numerical value in the order section of the prompt. Prompts with an order will display in numerical order.

Prompt XML:

The XML section of the relationship type prompt determines which relationships should get a soft credit or be suggested for a soft credit when a hard credit is entered on a related record. 

Creating Relations Types

  1. In the Prompts Tool, select Insert 
  2. For the key, use relatoinship_type
  3. For the value, provide the name of the type you want to have
  4. Not required, but adding a category is recommended 
  5. Not required, but providing a numerical order to the order prompt (1, 2, 3, etc.) is recommended 
  6. If the relationship type should be get a soft credit by defaulted or should not be suggested for a soft credit, put in the appropriate PKV into the XML section
  7. Click Save 


When done creating prompts, make sure to refresh the cache and refresh the configurable joins library in the database.
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