Q: Why are families treated differently in ebase?
The family is an odd construct - a social understanding that doesn't pigeon hole well. Two people who may have different interests, roles or voting records live in the same house and should get only one piece of most communications.
This is why demographic information doesn’t show up in a family’s Profile.
ebase takes this difference into account when, during the import process, the default is to automatically break a family record into three records: Family, and two Individuals. These records are linked to show the relationships. Separate roles or volunteer activity can then be attached to each individual.
Additionally, ebase gives membership only to the record that receives the dues payment – for many organizations that is the Family.
You decide your organization’s policy…
ebase has additional flexibility. First, you can decide that ebase won’t create related Individuals during the import. You can always add them in later as people interact with your organization.
Next, you get to decide to whom to credit payments.
Some organizations say the family record is the key - all payments go there and only certain log entries will be recorded for individual members of a family (like a role).
Other organizations decide on a head of household and place all payments there, with the family record getting the communication log entries. They then would use a log entry, say "Newsletter", that one would search on to get the list of all who should get the newsletter.
Your organization needs to decide on a policy (write it down!) and then apply it consistently.