Working with Households

Unlike other CRMs that require the establishment of distinct household units followed by the addition of family members to it, Chabad Suite CRM adopts a simplified approach where you get all the benefits of a household by simply relating your contacts, rather than having to maintain an additional record. 

This streamlined method significantly eases household management. However, due to the CRM's focus on individual contacts, managing collective household data requires tailored strategies.

Key challenges include: managing combined contributions, crafting joint greetings, ensuring address sharing between spouses, and minimizing duplications in communications.

This article delves into these challenges and presents solutions to seamlessly manage these complexities.

The lack of the household unit raises a several issues:

  1. Household total combined contributions.

  2. Joint greetings (Dear Mr. and Mrs. Cohen).

  3. Auto share of address between spouses.

  4. Duplicate records for mailings.

We developed solutions for each of those challenges, but first - let’s see how to set up a household on the CRM:


How to set up a household?

All you need to do is to establish a relationship between the spouses. Navigate to one spouse's summary page and create a relationship using the "spouse of" relationship type. Link the contact to their spouse. 

(There is a way to import relationships into the CRM using contacts import. See this article for more details:


Combined Contribution Management

Solution: Utilize advanced summary fields to consolidate contributions made by multiple household members. This aids in assessing total household donations accurately. Those fields are available on each contact summary page, and also as tokens to be added to letters and emails. All those tokens start with the word {Payments.something}. 

In addition, there are tokens that will bring up a detailed list of this year’s or last year’s combined donations formatted as a table. Those can be useful for letters and end-of-year receipts. To add/remove columns from those tables, go to Administer > CiviContribute > Payment Summary Tokens.

You can manage the summary fields by going to Administer > Customize data > Summary Fields, there, under Related Contributions section you can enable/disable fields, decide which Financial Types will be included in the summary, and more.


Personalized Joint Greetings

Solution: Employing tokens to bring personalized joint greetings for various household configurations, ensuring respectful and tailored communications.

Once the household is set, you will have different types of formal and informal jointly greetings for the household, like Mr. and Mrs. Cohen, or Avaraham and Sarah Cohen etc. All those greetings are available as tokens, to be used for communications. 


Automated Address Sharing

Solution: Establish a relationship between spouses and define gender parameters for both spouses (in the demographics section). Once the relationship is set, it triggers automated address sharing, enhancing communication efficiency.


Mitigating Mailing Redundancy

Since multiple contacts within a single household are treated individually, communications like letters, emails, mailing labels or newsletters are often duplicated, causing unnecessary inconvenience. 

Solution: Using the built-in "Singles and Primary Spouses" smart group. This group includes primary contacts from each household, minimizing duplicated communications.

When you run any communication task, such as printing receipts or a mailing, consider limiting it exclusively to the "Singles and Primary Spouses" group. This ensures that only one representative contact from each household receives the communication, preventing the redundancy issue.


Important note:

Despite these challenges, maintaining separate records for each spouse remains important. This separation facilitates targeted communications (e.g., gender-specific programs) and specific activities unique to an individual spouse. Renaming contacts with both spouses' names can lead to inconsistencies due to future form submissions using the same email address.

By navigating these solutions, you can optimize your experience while managing households in Chabad Suite CRM.