Re: How to organize multiple cross-referencing tables with one master table (Yes, I'm a newbie)

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Here’s my situation: I have a rather massive excel workbook that I’m trying to migrate to airtable but can’t figure it out – I’m doing something wrong. And while it may be there, I can’t find the answer in the various support documents.

This is what I have.


CONTACTS is a master table listing past, current, and potential supporters (donors, volunteers, endorsers, etc.), containing basic contact information, bio, etc. A given CONTACT may be a donor, volunteer, endorser, or a combination thereof.

Have about 900 contacts.


DONATIONS contain records of each donation made by persons listed in CONTACTS, with details regarding the donation (date, type, source, method, date deposited, etc.). Each person listed in CONTACTS will have zero to many DONATIONS records.

I created this table to “LOOK UP” the contact information (by name), then add in donation info. Airtable assigned an ID Number to each as the ID field.

Issues are as follows:

  • I can’t group donations by a single person, which means I can’t get a sum of total donations by a person. Kaban view won’t let me sort by a person/CONTACT because one person ends up having multiple ID# (or maybe because of something else?). (I can do this calculation in Excel but can’t figure out how to do it in Airtable.)

  • I can’t calculate each person’s TOTAL amount donated to date, either in this table or in the CONTACTS table. I can only pull in the record ID# - which lists all the individual donations made by a given person. (I can do this calculation in Excel but can’t figure out how to do it in Airtable.)

I have entered about 100 donations – but stopped here, recognizing that I may have designed the whole thing wrong and have to start over.


In addition to DONATIONS, I need to have several additional date-based tables (or sets of information), which are sortable by the CONTACT info, including:
(a) INTERACTIONS with persons listed in CONTACTS such as calls, meetings, etc.
(b) VOLUNTEER participation by persons listed in CONTACTS.
(c) OTHER SUPPORT by persons listed in CONTACTS.

All these tables/sets of information need to
(a) link to/pull in certain contact info about persons in CONTACTS;
(b) be entered by date;
(c) be sortable by individual persons listed in CONTACTS and
(d) be “reference-able” in CONTACTS.

Is this possible with Airtable, or am I just asking for too much?

1 Reply 1

Can you post screenshots of what you have so far? It sounds like you haven’t linked any records together. I am unsure what would prevent you from grouping your records or how you’ve positioned the ID field.

Watch these beginner-friendly videos to understand how linking records works:

Rollup, Lookup, and Count Fields can only work if the record in question is linked to at least one other record. “SUM(values)” is a rollup function. If you have each Donation linked to a Contact then the Contacts table would be able to show the sum total of donations via a Rollup field.