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Spouse/Partner relationship for mailings


Pandora11
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I couldn't find a post on this, though there may be one--

 

Has anyone got an elegant solution to relating spouses in a dB so that when you are mailing, you don't mail them twice?

 

I wanted to make sure that each person has their own record with separate email addresses, phone numbers, etc., but right now my solution to the "spouse" issue doesn't help automate anything when creating labels for mailings.

 

My current solution is that each record has a field for SpouseID where I input the ContactID of the spouse, and then fields for SpouseFirst and SpouseLast.

 

Ideas?

 

 

THANKS!!!

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There was something here a year or two ago about this, but I don't recall the details.

 

There are (probably) many solutions.

 

1) Let's say you are in charge of membership for a group. For every member you could have a spouse field. If the spouse field contains a value (a name) then your attendance badges, labels, mailings, etc. would contain both names.

 

2) And with all the different combinations and titles, I would add an "Address To" field that could be overridden to be more accurate:

 

Mr. and Mrs. John Jones

John and Patsy Jones

Mr. John and Dr. Patsy Jones

 

3) Maybe the spouse is actually a member of your organization. You would want to have the spouse name listed with the member (so you know who belongs to who, so to speak), but you want them to be individually addressed. So you could have a field ("Yes" or "No") that asks you if you want the spouse's name included with the mailings.

 

4) Finally, since 1/2 of the marriages dissolve over time, maybe a notes field to keep track that John and Patsy Jones were actually divorced last year and are no longer married, so you don't offend the new Mrs. Jones with the exe's name.

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I am presently dealing with the same issue with a database for an organization. It seems to me that I need to have mailing choices that allow me to select which format I will use for related contacts dependent on individual activities, interests and news. Using the spouse link and by displaying choices for using titles, first names, full names of both, single name only, and other choices, I can then select the format T=titles, 1=first names, F=full names, S=single name(s), and so on for categories of emails and snail mail by placing the format abbreviation into a number of categories, such as, general news, activities for which only 1 spouse (partner) is involved, requests for assistance, items of interest to one and not the other, contribution or attendance records, and so on.

 

That may be confusing with the limited examples above, but by adding a number of fields which will help calculate the needed formats for the various mailings, etc., I can correctly personalize each communication with individual members, and to me, it is all about personalization.

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  • 1 month later...
There was something here a year or two ago about this, but I don't recall the details.

 

There are (probably) many solutions.

 

1) Let's say you are in charge of membership for a group. For every member you could have a spouse field. If the spouse field contains a value (a name) then your attendance badges, labels, mailings, etc. would contain both names.

 

2) And with all the different combinations and titles, I would add an "Address To" field that could be overridden to be more accurate:

 

Mr. and Mrs. John Jones

John and Patsy Jones

Mr. John and Dr. Patsy Jones

 

3) Maybe the spouse is actually a member of your organization. You would want to have the spouse name listed with the member (so you know who belongs to who, so to speak), but you want them to be individually addressed. So you could have a field ("Yes" or "No") that asks you if you want the spouse's name included with the mailings.

 

4) Finally, since 1/2 of the marriages dissolve over time, maybe a notes field to keep track that John and Patsy Jones were actually divorced last year and are no longer married, so you don't offend the new Mrs. Jones with the exe's name.

 

AHunter3 had me make another occurrence of my Contact Management field named "Coupled To" for joining couples. So there is now a "CoupledTo" field for entering spouses. I'm assuming this would be used to do the mailings as well.

 

Would you do a script? I assume that would be some sort of script thing, like IF the CoupledTo field has a value in it, and that value has the same LastName value, then FirstName+"and"+SpouseFirstName+LastName will appear on the mailing and if that value has a different last name, then FirstName+LastName+"and"+Spouse First+SpouseLast will appear on the mailing. Am I on the right track? How do I do this?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Mailings for our nonprofit are one of the main uses for the database, and a more elegant solution for this problem would be very helpful.

 

Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not sure how useful my input will be, since this is my first post and I'm a Filemaker novice, but I'm also working on a contact database for a non-profit and have run into the same sorts of issues. Besides couples with or without different last names, they also have people (individually or as part of a couple) who use their middle names ("P. Edward Jones") and people who prefer to be addressed by their full name ("Mary Ann Jones"), and all of this is ending up jammed into the "First Name", "Middle Initial", "Last Name" fields for one contact.

 

The solution I chose isn't easy, but it seems to be working out so far. I created *two* sets of fields in each Contact records for Salutation, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Prefer Middle Name (boolean), Prefer Full Name (boolean). Then I put together what may be the world's longest Case statement (254 lines) in a calculation to assemble the full mailing name from all these pieces (this Full Name field works well as a search field for Finds also). Challenging to put together, but it seems to be handling everything thrown at it (fortunately they don't use salutations on their mailing labels!).

 

I'm obviously not going to post any of this here, but it you'd like me to send you any of what I've put together here to see if it works for your situation, please let me know.

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Wow.

 

In my db, we don't have a middle initial field or a salutation field. I don't really need to know what gender people are, so we just left it out. And the way that we gather information, most people don't provide a middle initial, so that line would barely get used. Thanks for the offer, though!

 

I still think that for now, what I have will work, and otherwise, I'm going to try to figure out the radio button option.

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  • 2 weeks later...

K. Another question for the spouse relationship. Right now, people in the db are linked to their spouses by a separate table occurrence of my contacts table titled "CoupledTo" There is a field for entering the Spouse's ContactID which is a dropdown and has the name info for choosing the correct one. However, I would also like the name to be visible on the layout, so I have another field next to it, like I do elsewhere for other things (i.e. Shows Seen, pick a ShowID and the ShowTitle pops up in the next field). Right now this isn't working, because I don't know how to make the second box pull up the right name. Currently the field is displaying the name of the person whose record it is, not the name of their spouse. Ideas?

 

Thanks!

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The problem is your relationship (assuming this is the same file we were working on before).

 

Right now this is in essence what your relationship is saying:

If the CoupledTo field = the CoupledTo field, then give me the FullName from that record.

 

This is the data side of what FM sees:

  • ContactManagement::ContactID = 3760
  • ContactManagement::FullName = John Doe
  • ContactManagement::CoupledTo = 3761

 

The matching record:

  • CoupledTo::CoupledTo = 3761
  • CoupledTo::ContactID = 3760
  • CoupledTo::FullName = John Doe (the same record as above, because the only record that has '3761' in the CoupledTo field is the one you just put it into. Instead of the spouse's name, you get the name of the current record).

 

==========================

 

What you need it to say:

Where the CoupledTo field = the ContactID, tell me the person's FullName.

 

The Data:

  • ContactManagement::ContactID = 3760
  • ContactManagement::FullName = John Doe
  • ContactManagement::CoupledTo = 3761

 

The Matching Record:

  • CoupledTo::ContactID = 3761
  • CoupledTo::FullName = Jane Doe

 

==========================

 

Change the relationship to: ContactManagement::CoupledTo = CoupledTo::ContactID

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I'm glad you got it. I just read over my explanation, and now I'm confused. smiley-wink

 

I actually found it confusing at first, too, but then I just used the end part. The beginning was what confused me. It's all stuff I know, but too much at once. Thanks, again!smiley_cool

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