Keeping track of interactions and transactions with individuals rather than businesses can be challenging. Salesforce offers the option of enabling Person Accounts, but there are some significant considerations to keep in mind here. The Nonprofit Starter Pack offers a solution which avoids Person Accounts which is worth investigating whether or not your organization is a nonprofit.
If your organization uses the Nonprofit Starter Pack (or maybe you’re still investigating Salesforce for your nonprofit), you have an important decision to make that will affect your data for years to come. All Contacts in Salesforce should have an associated Account, but many nonprofits primarily do business with individuals rather than businesses. The NPSP was built with this in mind and has implemented two solutions to make sure none of your contacts get left behind. The 1-to-1 model automatically creates a unique Account record for every Contact in your system, while the bucket model associates all unaffiliated Contacts with an “Individual” Account. Choosing the correct model for your organization can be complicated, but the developerforce team has put together a useful resource which may help you make the right decision.
If you relate Opportunities to the individual’s Account, you can create Rollup Summary fields that total Opportunities to the Account
There are two records created for each individual–a Contact and an Account
this model has less impact on the standard functioning of Salesforce.com
Contact merge and Lead conversion work normally
Opportunities can’t be rolled up to Contacts via Rollup Summary fields, but donation rollups are available through NPSP code.
-Jared and the Salesforce Guys