This documentation refers to an older version of CiviCRM (3.4 / 4.0). View latest version.

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This page refers to CiviCRM 3.4 and 4.0, current STABLE version.

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CiviCRM 3.4 and 4.0 Documentation

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CiviCRM books!

Make sure to check out the FLOSS Manual Understanding CiviCRM as well! You can also support this project by ordering a hard copy.

Or support us by buying an eBook or hard copy of Using CiviCRM from Packt Publishing.

Return to Relationship Types

Configure New Relationship Types

The type of contacts which can 'participate' in a given type of relationship, as well as the label (what the relationship is called) are defined in the relationship type. CiviCRM comes with a number of 'built-in' relationship types - which may be sufficient for your requirements.

Relationship Type

Used to Connect...


Individual to Individual


Individual to Individual


Individual to Individual


Individual to Organization


Individual to Organization

Head of Household

Individual to Household

Household Member

Individual to Household

Groups vs. Relationships

Although there is not hard and fast rule for this, you should consider using Relationships to track the connections between your constituents (e.g. Person A is Board Member of Funder Org B), and Groups to define ways in which they are connected to your organization (e.g. Newsletter Subscribers).

Use the following steps to if you need to track additional / different types of relationships.

New Relationship Type

Go to Administer CiviCRM

In the Option Lists section, select Relationship Types

Select >> New Relationship Type

Relationship Label-A to B - enter the name of the relationship as you would describe it from right to left.

For example, when describing the Employee/Employer relationship between an Individual and an Organization, the A to B label is Employee of - as in Jane Spero is an Employee of Alta School District.

Relationship Label-A to B - enter the name of the relationship as used in the reverse direction.

For our same example, Alta School District is an Employer of Jane Spero

Contact Type A - select the type of contact that can logically be used for the left side of the relationship (Individuals in our example).

Contact Type B - select the type of contact for the other side (Organizations in our example).

Description - an optional explanation of this relationship type.

Click Enabled? to enable this relationship type. You can disable the availability of a Relationship Type by leaving this box unchecked.

Click Save to save the new Relationship Type, Cancel to cancel it.

If successful, you will be returned to the Relationship Types page and see the message " The Relationship Type has been saved."

Once configured, you may VIEW or EDIT Relationship Types by clicking on the View | Edit links on the right hand side of the Relationship Types list.

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