By Thomas Taylor

A user recently reached out via the Power of Us Hub to ask if the new “Associate a Contact to Multiple Accounts” feature, part of the Summer ‘16 Salesforce release, would work with NGO Connect. Salesforce customers, especially nonprofits, have long-awaited this feature. Using this feature with NGO Connect doesn’t break anything, but most organizations should leave the feature off for now.

How NGO Connect Meets the Need

The IdeaExchange entry that eventually brought this feature about is nine years old and has 64,560 votes. Users have definitely identified the need! NGO Connect, like some other Salesforce apps for nonprofits, met this need in the meantime with a custom solution. The Relationship object in NGO Connect, and specifically Account-Contact Relationships, fills this gap in standard functionality for our users. Our customers needed a way to record individual donor’s relationships to their employer(s), nonprofit boards, and other entities since way before Salesforce offered this feature! Additionally, we’ve built functionality into the Relationships object not available in the Contacts to Multiple Accounts feature. Some of it relates to other NGO Connect or Advancement Connect functionality.

NGO Connect uses its own Relationships to track when Automatic Soft Credits should be created, and also for Employment relationships that record a gift matching ratio. Neither of these functions are available for the new “AccountContactRelation” standard object that the Contact to Multiple Account feature uses. Also, our Relationship Visualizer only supports our own Relationships object. If you use any of these NGO Connect features, we recommend that you standardize on the Relationships object.

What’s Next?

Salesforce has announced some really useful enhancements to the “AccountContactRelation” object for the upcoming Winter ‘17 release – validation rules and triggers being two important features that will now be included. While this remains work in progress, roundCorner will continue to monitor the development of this and other Salesforce features. We will make changes to NGO Connect as needed.

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