Uploading relationships with the Flex Importer

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are exporting relationship data and re-importing it in order to bulk update it, make sure you include the LGL Constituent ID in your export. When re-importing, ensure that you set up a mapping for this field so that the bulk change you are making will occur in the correct constituent records.

In this article:

Required fields

To create a relationship between two constituent records, LGL must recognize two separate constituent records in your import file. In addition, you must specify a) the direction of the relationship (for example, "relationship to" and "relationship from", and b) the name of the relationship (the value in the "Relationship type" column, such as "spouse" or "child"). 

If you are creating new constituent records, your spreadsheet must contain at least First Name, Last Name, or Organization Name data for both constituents. If you are updating records using match criteria, all fields needed for matching must be present (i.e., first and last name or organization name, and email address). if you are updating using either an External Constituent ID or an LGL Constituent ID, no name fields are required.)

NOTE: If your import spreadsheet contains a column for "Relationship to" and a column for "Relationship from" and you map these fields in your import mapping, the mapping will automatically be set to "Constituent #2". Also note that if you use the same column headers twice (such as "First name" and "Last name" in the first example below), the Flex Importer will assign the second one(s) to "Constituent #2".

Special fields

There are no special fields in this case.

2 ways to upload relationship data

You can upload relationships into your Little Green Light account in two ways:

  1. Using multiple separate upload spreadsheets, one for the primary constituent data and one for the related constituent/s data, for example
  2. Using one spreadsheet, in which all of the data for each constituent and those they are related to is contained within in a single row

The first option is an easier way to go in terms of setting up your data. Using this method, you first upload the constituents into LGL so that each has been saved into a constituent record. Then on a subsequent upload, you can use a file that identifies the pairs (or groupings) of records you want to connect in the relationship/s.

The second option requires that you prepare your spreadsheet so that each set of data for the first and related constituents is contained within a single row. PLEASE NOTE: This means that you are not attempting to upload a relationship between a constituent in one row with a constituent in a different row within your spreadsheet. The data for all relationships must be contained within the same row in your spreadsheet.

Please follow the instructions provided in the section below that applies to how you want to prepare your upload.

Uploading relationship data in multiple spreadsheets

Here we are uploading a list of constituents from three organizations. In each set, we’re uploading an organization record for the organization, followed by three records for employees in that organization.

Once those constituent records are uploaded into LGL, we can then upload a spreadsheet that tells LGL how to establish relationships between them. Here we are using the External Constituent ID as an easy way to identify the records. We also include columns for their relationships to one another.

When mapping this spreadsheet in the Flex Importer, make sure LGL is set to handle two constituents per row. Next to letter “A” in the screenshot below, you’ll see that LGL is set to treat the first External Constituent ID as Constituent #1 and the second one as Constituent #2.

You also want to make sure that your relationship columns are being mapped correctly. Identify the relationships as being connected with Constituent #2, and then map your "from" and "to" relationship fields as shown. (See letter "B" in the screenshot below.) Our upload column named “Relationship from 1 to 2” is being mapped to Constituent #2 and to the LGL field “Relationship from Const. #1”.

Uploading relationship data for multiple constituents using one spreadsheet

When you prepare your spreadsheet to import constituents, plus their relationships, at once, the key is to be clear what the constituent numbers apply to and how they are used to group fields together to define the constituent within the row.

For example, fields for constituent #1 will always apply to the primary constituent in that row of data. If you are importing a married couple, all of the data for each member of the couple will be contained within one row of your spreadsheet, with each data point being contained within its own column. In this case, the constituent numbers apply as follows:

  • Constituent #1 = primary constituent’s first name, primary constituent’s last name
  • Constituent #2 = spouse’s first name, spouse’s last name

Here you can see an example of how the spreadsheet would be set up:

Then when you’re setting up the mapping, make sure the Constituent setting for all field mappings for the primary constituent are set to “Const #1” and that the Constituent setting for all field mappings for the spouse are set to “Const #2”, as shown here:

Your preview will look something like this.

The import described in this section will create two constituents from a single row in your spreadsheet.

In order to establish a relationship link between these two records, you'll need to tell LGL that the records should be related. The easiest way to do this is to click the "--add rule--" selector next to the Spouse last name field. 

You only have to add this rule on a single field. We selected the Spouse last name field because you want to select a field that is present in your spreadsheet for every such record. This means that every time there's a spouse, there will most likely be a last name. If you set the rule on the email address and there's a spouse with no email address, the rule wouldn't run for that spouse record.

After clicking the "Set defaults" option under "--add rule--", you can then set defaults for two fields: "Relationship from" and "Relationship to". In both cases, the second box should say "Const. #1". Now fill in the value you want for the relationship. In the screenshot below, "Spouse" has been added in both directions (to keep things simple).

Click "Update rules". You can see that your rule is in place, and the preview of the record on the right will show the relationship information:

You can now click "Save and load data for review" to begin processing the import.