How to Track Spouses & Joint Contacts in Kindful


There are three ways to add and track household couples (married, spouses) within Kindful. This guide will review each option organizations have taken based on their specific needs. We recommend your organization review how you've tracked your donors in the past and then determine if you'd like to continue that method moving forward, or change those processes within Kindful.

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Option 1: Represent a “Couple” as One Contact 

If you’ve historically tracked couples as a single contact, such as John and Jane Smith, your team may want to continue that process in Kindful. The contact’s first name would be ‘John and Jane’ and the last name would be ‘Smith’.



  • You can conveniently see each spouse's name when searching
  • Both spouses will always be addressed via Kindful correspondences
  • This will lower your total contact count for your Kindful subscription plan



Things to consider

  • Only the primary email address in the contact record will sync with our email marketing integrations (except Emma, which will sync both the Primary and the Alternate Email addresses).
  • All activities (notes, transactions, pledges) will be tied to both spouses
  • Each spouse cannot be added to different contact groups

Option 2: Use Contact Spouse Fields

In a contact’s profile, there is a group of fields to track a contact’s spouse information. If Jane Smith is the primary contact, but you want to store their spouse, John Smith’s, information simply for reference, we’d recommend using these spouse fields.



  • You can search contacts by the donor’s name (Jane Smith) or spouse name (John Smith)
  • Only the primary contact will be addressed via Kindful correspondences
  • Store spouse contact info in separate fields



Things to consider

  • Kindful will not pull the spouse name field and automatically merge with the primary contact’s name when generating letter or email templates.
  • The spouse email fields do not sync with our email marketing integrations 

Option 3: Create Two Separate Contact Records

If you tracked John Smith and Jane Smith as separate contacts, you could add a spouse relationship between the two contacts to link them together as part of a household. This is our recommended solution within Kindful.



  • You can add each spouse contact into different contact groups
  • Both spouses' primary email address will sync with your email marketing integration
  • Donations attributed to either spouse contact will be allocated towards their household total giving contribution when creating tax summaries

Things to consider

  • More contacts to track in the system
  • Both spouses are not easily tagged in a single correspondence. You would need to use the Formal and/or Informal Name fields in the Head of Household's contact record. (i.e. Formal Name = Mr. & Mrs. John Smith, Informal Name = John & Jane Smith)

Handling Joint Contacts with Different Last Names

If two contacts, John Smith and Jane Doe, have different last names then we would recommend either tracking these spouses as separate contacts (option 3). If you choose option 1 or 2, you could use the Formal Letter Name or Informal Letter Name tags in the contact profile to add their full names.


Tracking and Reporting on Transactions

When entering a transaction into Kindful where the contact is a part of a household consisting of two or more contact records, you must choose a singular contact when attributing the gift. 

For example, let's say you have two contacts, John and Jane Doe, who are married. You have two separate contacts for them, and link them as a "Spouse" type relationship, and also as a part of a household.  

A donation comes in from the Doe family, and gifts from the Doe family are always attributed to both John and Jane. Since the transaction must be marked to an individual contact in Kindful for recording purposes, the donation is recorded under John Doe's contact.

When reports are run (e.g. LYBUNT), it will appear as though Jane has not donated since the gift is attributed to her linked household record. For this purpose (highlighted in the section below), we recommend specific fields to be setup on these contact records so tags can work effectively.

Alternately in this scenario, you could create a singular joint record for John and Jane Doe so that they are always viewed together in reporting.

What Tags to Use

There are four (4) tags that are available to be used when addressing a contact via a communication piece generated via Kindful (either print or email).

  • First Name
  • Preferred Name
  • Formal Name
  • Informal Name

Use these four fields to appropriately and even creatively address contacts who might be a part of a household.

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