I am looking at how we implemented Family Memberships in our 3 year old instance of CiviCRM. It's never worked very well for us, but I am not sure if it's not configured right, we should use another approach or what. Our use case is a professional membership society where sometimes both spouses are members of the profession. They don't think of one or the other of them as the "primary" member. They are equals. So each needs the ability to renew their Family Membership, and when that happens the other spouse's membership should be marked as renewed as well.

Currently we have it set up where membership is granted via related contacts. One is marked as Primary in the database. We have troubles when the non-Primary member wants to do the renewal. It rarely "just works", some editing is necessary.

It seems the alternative is to use Household memberships, and mark each of them as permissioned to manage the Household membership. Will this solve our problem?

Advantages and disadvantages of each approach?


2 Answers 2


It sounds like the ideal solution for you would be if the 'on behalf of' Membership could be made to work for Households. I don't think I have seen anyone tackle this, and it was also discussed in this question


I've set up a household based membership system a couple of times with success. The household contact gets the membership, and individuals inherit the membership via relationship s. We set up a head if household relationship, and member of household relationship, but if you don't need to handle children or other family members then perhaps just one relationship type can beat used. We use the webform civicrm module to build the sign up and renewal forms, it can be done with a little to know custom code, although a bit of code helps make a slick consistent ui/ux. This module is available for Drupal. It can definitely be done!

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