I'm exploring Civicrm for a client that processes emergency grants for individuals with medical, and other issues. There is a process to fill out forms which often requires follow-up in the workflow.

For the architecture, I plan to use grants (and the grant application extension) to collect and approve grant applications (since this is designed with financial accounting in mind) but also create a case and activities to manage the application process (followup, approval, etc.).

There is a close entity relationship between the grant application and the Case. Since civicrm does not (yet) have entity relationship or lookup custom fields, does anyone have a suggestion of how to approach this relatively simple requirement? Basically, Grants and Cases would each have a reciprocal field to connect each other.

I'm sure the "answer" will require creating an extension (would prefer to avoid maintaining it). I could also do this in Drupal with entities / views / rules but wondering if there are any other clever approaches.

  • I haven't really grappled with CiviGrant but we have set up a useable Grant Application process purely with custom Activities which I presume you could then include in your Case rather than having to link them. Might that help? but perhaps your relationship between Case and Grant is not one-to-one?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 2:17
  • Clever! I may go that route although CiviGrant does have nice financial integration which is relevant (and this is actually for a grant ...) Will look at the tradeoffs Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 3:23

2 Answers 2


If you are using Drupal as your CMS then one option would be to set-up a webform that simultaneously opens a case and a grant (yes, webforms can do both at once). In that case the webform submission itself could serve as the link between the two, or you could make a more explicit link via custom fields.

  • Nice idea! When you say "you could make a more explicit link via custom fields" would that be to record the Grant/Case ID or somehow build a link? Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 14:58
  • Storing the id in a custom field would require custom code, probably in a _post hook, unless you just do it manually each time. So if you're going to that trouble you might as well make it a link not just an id.
    – Coleman
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 15:05

One option would be to create your own custom Activities to manage the Grant side of things and then include them in your Case directly rather than having to link Cases with CiviGrant.

  • I was actually exploring this and realized that although there activities types associated with various components (Grant, contribution, etc.) The Activity type and option UI only lets let's you create custom Contact and Case type activities. Am I missing this somewhere? Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 21:27
  • I don't think so. I came across the same issue with some CiviCampaign based Activities - which meant they didn't work as expected in terms of user access (needed 'administer civicampaign') and Views didn't 'see' them. But that said, it is just a field in the db which you could try setting directly there?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 0:08

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