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Dealing with overlapping criteria when organizing people

Question asked by DuganMorgridge on Feb 4, 2015
Latest reply on Feb 6, 2015 by philmodjunk


Dealing with overlapping criteria when organizing people


I am part of a group of people working to start a non-profit organization, and since I have experience with Filemaker already, I've been tasked with designing and implementing a database to help us track all our people and relationships.

The organization is a chorus, which will be made up of both professional and volunteer singers.  Additionally, we need to be able to track individual donors, institutions that donate or who are prospective donors (corporations/foundations/businesses), and possibly also peer organizations.

The basic problem I'm facing is avoiding redundancy.  There will be a great deal of overlap between the pool of singers and the pool of individual donors.  This is further complicated by the fact that some of the singers are married or cohabitating couples, so for the purposes of donation acknowledgement or mailings, they are a single entity, but as employees/volunteers, each individual needs to be tracked separately.

I'd like to avoid keeping separate records of contact info (address, phone, etc.) for the same people, but I also don't want to have a single "People" table that contains a bunch of relevant fields for Singer information that only gets filled in if they happen to be singers. 

My head is spinning trying to figure out how many tables to use and how to structure their hierarchy.