Create an Organization Account and Affiliations

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Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe the purpose of Organization Accounts, Affiliations, and Primary Affiliations.
  • Explain the difference between a relationship and an affiliation in the NPSP.
  • Create an Organization Account and an Affiliation.

Organization Account Overview

Up until now, we’ve mainly talked about Contacts and Households, but there are other entities with which nonprofits regularly interact . . . namely, other organizations (like other nonprofits).

In the Nonprofit Success Pack, Organization Accounts allow your nonprofit to keep track of entities that are not individual constituents or Households. These entities might be foundations that fund your work, other nonprofits that you partner with, corporations that sponsor your work, or companies that employ your donors and constituents. Organization Accounts can help you better track the companies and foundations that you and your constituents interact with.

Let’s hear what Zakk has to say about Organization Accounts. Then we’ll see exactly how they work by creating one.


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

Create an Organization Account

So, Tim McFadden is not only a big Cradles to Crayons donor, he also works for a company that makes donations. Tim McFadden’s employer, the Bank of Northeast Boston, is a regular contributor to Cradles to Crayons through things like fundraising drives and volunteer events. This is great news for Zakk and Cradles to Crayons, because more support for Tim means more support for Cradles to Crayons.

Obviously, Zakk will want to keep track of Bank of Northeast Boston. He’ll use an Organization Account (different from a Household Account) to do so.

  1. In the Nonprofit Success Pack, navigate to the Accounts tab and click New.
  2. Select Organization from the Record Type picklist and click Next.

    Select account record type
  3. Enter the Organization Name and other details.
  4. Click Save.

Once you’ve created the Organization Account, you can create Affiliations to connect a Contact (or Contacts) to the Organization.

Create Affiliations

An Affiliation is actually an independent, custom Salesforce object that links Contacts with Organizations. Affiliations can represent current or past connections between your Contacts and Organizations—much like Relationships (the key difference being that Relationships in the NPSP are for Contact-Contact connections, and Affiliations are for Contact-Organization connections).

The Nonprofit Success Pack lets you mark one Affiliation for each Contact as the Contact’s Primary Affiliation. The Primary Affiliation is typically used for representing the employer/employee connection between an Organization Account and Contact. But you might also use it to represent another Affiliation that is more important for your organization’s purposes, such as a donor being a board member for a specific foundation.


A Contact can only have one associated Primary Affiliation record at any given time, though a single Organization Account may be designated as the Primary Affiliation for multiple Contacts.

Follow along in your own organization as Zakk creates the Primary Affiliation for Tim McFadden.

  1. Navigate to the Contact or Organization Account where you would like to add the Affiliation. Zakk is going to create this particular Affiliation from Tim McFadden’s Contact record, but creating it on the Organization Account record would work too.
  2. Click the Related tab and click New in the Organization Affiliations related list. This creates a new Affiliation record that lets you link a Contact to an Organization.
  3. Populate the Organization and Contact fields (these are required), as well as any other information you have for the Affiliation.

    Edit affiliation information
  4. Check the Primary box if you want this Organization to appear in the Primary Affiliation field on the Contact’s record. (We do want that in this instance, but remember, you don’t always have to.)
  5. Click Save.

The Affiliation record you just created now appears in the Organization Affiliations related list on the Contact record, and the Affiliated Contacts list on the Organization record. If you marked the Affiliation as Primary, the Organization name also appears in the Primary Affiliation field on the Details tab of the Contact record.

Affiliation contact detail

A little bit more about Affiliations...

Connecting Contacts to Organizations through Affiliations can be really useful because Affiliations allow you to track both current and former connections. That means that you can see how your constituents connect to multiple organizations over time (as they move on to new jobs or join boards at different organizations, for example). The Affiliation records for a given Contact will always show you all of the Organizations with which that Contact was or is involved.