Create a Contact and Associated Household Account

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Attention, Trailblazer!

Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. This module is designed for Lightning Experience.

You can learn about switching between interfaces, enabling Lightning Experience, and more in the Lightning Experience Basics module here on Trailhead.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Understand how Cradles to Crayons is using the Nonprofit Success Pack for fundraising.
  • Create a new contact and associated Household account in Salesforce.
  • Create a second contact and create a relationship between contacts.

Introducing Cradles to Crayons



We've recently launched Nonprofit Cloud, which includes NPSP. For more on Nonprofit Cloud see Fundraise with Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).

What better way to learn about Salesforce and nonprofits than to take the journey with one of the incredible organizations in our nonprofit community? In this module, you’ll receive instruction, hear words of wisdom, and learn best practices for donation management from a nonprofit that has seen amazing results with the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).

We'll follow the story of Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit that provides children in homeless or low-income situations with supplies they need at home, at school, and at play. Cradles to Crayons collects new and nearly new children's items through grassroots community drives and corporate donations. Donations are then processed and packaged by volunteers, and are distributed to disadvantaged children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.

Over the past ten plus years, Salesforce and NPSP have helped Cradles to Crayons grow and scale their operations to become the nationally recognized organization they are today. The staff at Cradles to Crayons will show you exactly how they got started.

As you can see, Cradles to Crayons owes much of its success to Salesforce and NPSP. Let’s hear what Zakk Tapp, the Salesforce Administrator at Cradles to Crayons, has to say about NPSP changing Cradles to Crayons at nearly every level of the organization.


In this video, Zakk talks about the Nonprofit Starter Pack, which we've renamed the Nonprofit Success Pack.

Create Your First Contact and Household

At Cradles to Crayons, Zakk and his team rely on many individual constituents, including donors, to build their wonderful community. These individuals might support Cradles to Crayons on their own or collectively, with a spouse/partner and other family members. The Nonprofit Success Pack refers to these collectives as Households.



In the Nonprofit Success Pack, you should manage each of your constituents as a Contact connected to a Household. Even if that Household only contains a single member, it makes your Household Account management easier if you treat your community members consistently.

We should mention that in addition to Households, the Nonprofit Success Pack also supports what we call Organization Accounts (for example, other businesses, nonprofits, religious organizations, and so on), which you distinguish from Household Accounts by setting a different record type in Salesforce. (More on all that later.)

Now, let’s listen to what Zakk has to say about the value of Households and Contacts. Then we’ll create our first Contact and Household.


In this video, Zakk talks about the Nonprofit Starter Pack, which we've renamed the Nonprofit Success Pack.

  1. Make sure you’re logged into Salesforce and that you have the Nonprofit Success Pack application installed. You can check to see if you have the Nonprofit Success Pack application by looking in the Lightning Platform Application Menu in the upper-left hand corner in Salesforce.

    check application menu


    If you don’t see it in the upper-left hand corner, click the App Launcher and select the Nonprofit Success Pack.

  2. Click the arrow next to the Contacts tab and click New Contact.

    Cradles to Crayons
  3. In the Contact Details section, enter all relevant details for your new Contact (but leave the Account Name field blank). Leaving the Account Name field blank is the key step to creating a new Household:

    Leave account name field blank
  4. Scroll down to the Address Information section and complete that information too.
  5. When you’re finished, click Save.

    Salesforce automatically creates a Household, and derives the name of the Household from the name of the Contact.

    Create a household from contact

This is the way you should always create Households in Salesforce. Just create a Contact, and let the Nonprofit Success Pack do the rest!

As you can see, the first Household that Zakk has created in his Salesforce organization is the McFadden Household. Keep track of this name because it will be important later.

Add a Contact to an Existing Household

For Households that already exist in your Salesforce organization, you might need to add a spouse or a child as new Contact. These Contacts may or may not already exist in Salesforce.

Let’s see how Zakk adds a new Contact to a Household when the Contact does not already exist in Salesforce.

  1. Click the Account Name of the Household you created in the previous section.

    Add contact to household
  2. In the upper right hand corner of the Account Detail page, click Manage Household.

    Enter contact information


    If you don’t see the Manage Household button, you likely have an earlier version of the Nonprofit Success Pack and have to enable the button in Salesforce Setup. See the Resources section at the end of this unit for more information.

  3. Start typing the Contact’s name inside the Contact search box, then click New Contact, like so:

    Account detail for household
  4. Enter the information for the new Contact, and then click New Contact.
  5. On the Manage Household page, click Save.

    Your Household should now contain two members. One you created when you initially set up the Household, and the one you added just now. In Zakk’s organization, you can see that we now have Tim and Cynthia McFadden, instead of just Tim.

    Household options


If you ever need to add an existing contact to a new Household, you can choose to merge the Households, or move the contact from one Household to the other. If the Contact is the last remaining member of a Household, Salesforce will automatically delete that Household when you move the Contact over. The options in Salesforce look like this:

Merge households

Designate a Primary Contact for the Household

For Households in Cradles to Crayons’ Salesforce organization, Zakk likes to designate one of the Household members as a Primary Contact for mailing or email purposes. He doesn’t, after all, want the folks at Cradles to Crayons to send multiple donation solicitations to the same Household!

Let’s see how Zakk creates a Primary Contact for a Household.

  1. Navigate to the Household Account record you want to edit, then click Manage Household. (Zakk’s going to navigate to the McFadden Household Account record from the previous section.)
  2. In the Household details section, scroll down to the Primary Contact field, and enter the name of the Contact you want to designate as the Primary Contact.

    But wait! You’re probably surprised to see that Salesforce has already listed someone as your Primary Contact. Yes that’s right . . . Salesforce designated the first Contact you entered as the Primary Contact for the Household when the new Household was created. For Households with only one contact, the Primary Contact field defaults to that person’s name.

    Primary contact field default

    Change the Primary Contact if you want to, or leave the original Primary Contact as is.

  3. Click Save.

You most likely didn’t need to change information this time, but we wanted to show you how you can designate a Primary Contact when your Household contains multiple Contacts.

Note too, that the address associated with the Primary Contact is the address for the entire Household.

Create Relationships between Contacts

You can’t deny it: in life, people have relationships with one another! In the Nonprofit Success Pack you can keep track of these relationships, and visualize who is connected to whom—and how. Using the Relationships functionality, you can create relationships between contacts within the same Household, between different Households, or to contacts at other Organizations.

In this section, Zakk shows you how to create a relationship between the two contacts we just created.

  1. Open the Contact record for the first Household contact you created, and click the Related tab to see the contact’s Relationships related list. (In Zakk’s organization, this is Tim McFadden’s Relationships related list).
  2. Click New in the Relationships related list, and fill out the information for the relationship between your two Contacts.

    Relationship information
  3. Click Save.

    You should see your second contact now listed in the Relationships related list as well.

    Relationship related list

So that’s great, and that’s easy, but as we all know, relationships extend beyond Households. In the nonprofit world relationships between organizations and potential donors are extremely important. In the next section we’ll see how Zakk creates a relationship with someone who is outside of the McFadden Household.

Create More Relationships

So . . . Zakk has met a guy named Todd Burlington, and he knows Todd is friends with Tim McFadden. Zakk wants to keep track of this relationship for a number of reasons. For example, when Cradles to Crayons holds its Un-Gala event at the end of the year, Zakk wants to make sure that Todd Burlington and Tim McFadden both have a great time. He may even want to schedule them for a volunteer visit together, but to do that he has to remember that they’re friends in the first place.

Zakk’s going to start by creating a new Contact record for Todd Burlington. Then he’s going to relate Todd Burlington’s Contact record to Tim McFadden’s, and relate them as friends. Follow along with Zakk to create a new relationship of this nature in your own organization.

  1. In the Nonprofit Success Pack, click Contacts, then click New Contact.
  2. Enter all relevant Contact details for the new Contact (but leave the Account Name field blank!) You can also enter relevant address information if you want (but you don’t have to right now).

    Edit contact details
  3. Click Save.

    Salesforce creates the new Contact, and automatically creates a new Household. For Zakk the new contact is Todd Burlington, and the new household is the Burlington Household.

    Household name examples
  4. On the Contact record you just created, click the Related tab and click New in the Relationships related list.

    New relationship
  5. Fill out all of the Relationship fields accordingly. In the example, Zakk wants to relate the Contact he just created, Todd Burlington, to the Contact he created earlier, Tim McFadden.

    Edit relationship information
  6. Click Save.

    Now let’s check out the Relationship.

  7. In the Relationships related list, click the Relationship Number corresponding to Tim's relationship with Todd.
  8. On the Relationship record, note the Relationship Explanation. You’ll see the Nonprofit Success Pack’s plain-english explanation of the relationship between the two contacts.

    Household name format

View Relationships

The Nonprofit Success Pack comes with a Relationships Viewer that gives you a visual representation of all the relationships between your Contacts.

Back at the top of one of your Contact pages, next to the Contact Detail heading, click Relationships Viewer.

Contact detail relationship viewer

You should see a diagram that looks something like this:

Relationship diagram

The Relationships Viewer gives you a visualization of how your various Contacts relate to one another. Granted, we’ve only entered three Contacts so far, so the visualizer looks a bit sparse. But imagine how seeing how multiple Contacts relate to each other—especially when separated by two or three degrees—might be useful for nonprofits. (Networking and fundraising anyone?)

Here’s a Relationships view of one of Zakk’s Contacts (with names blurred out for privacy). In this view you can see the main Contact at the center, and all of the co-workers associated with that Contact. The Director of Development and Community Engagement Team at Cradles use the Relationships Viewer to better understand how certain Contacts are connected to other current or potential donors, as well as other individuals in the larger community.

Relationship view of all contacts