We have a civi membership contribution form that is on behalf of an organization. Right now, when new members sign up, if their organization has the same name as an existing organization, civi renews and updates the existing organization instead of creating a new organization. And the new member also gets added to the existing organization.

The dedupe rules for contacts don’t seem to have an effect on organizations for "on behalf of" contribution forms.

What is the best way to make sure a new organization is created and a new membership is created every time a user signs up?

  • Please add your CiviCRM version to this? This behavior has changed over time. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 16:47
  • We're on version 4.5.5 Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 20:59

3 Answers 3


I am wondering if you really want the membership form to be "on behalf of" an organization.

That feature is designed to be used when the organization is to be the member, (eg for a trade association) but, because organizations can't fill in forms, a person has to sign up "on behalf of" the organization. The organization can only have one membership, so when someone else comes along to sign up 'on behalf of' the organization they are effectively renewing that membership and will be added to that organization.

It sounds like you want the individual to have the membership, but you want to know that they belong to a particular organization. If that is the case then your memberships should be for individuals, you should not let contacts sign up "on behalf of organizations" and you should include the "employee of" field in the profile on your membership form so that you have a relationship created between the organization record and the individual's record.


And when the "employee of"/"employer of" relationship isn't the correct one, you can create new relationship types such as "player for"/"has player" (teams), "spokesperson for"/"spokesperson is", etc.

  • 2
    Can you flesh out your answer as to how to have the new relationship type used on the membership form
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 19:53

This may not be a popular answer, but I am not big fan of allowing membership renewal without authenticating. I think there are too many potential issues like the one you are running into.

You can also try sending a checksum email to the primary organization contact with a link to renew. I know of several organizations using this technique.

A couple references:

-- CiviCRM documentation

-- an example

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