A soft credits is when a constituent makes a contribution or purchase, but another constituent, or multiple constituents, may have influenced the transaction. You may want to track other constituents that are not getting the primary credit for the contribution. An example is a donation from a husband and wife. If you record the donation on the husband’s record, you may want to add a soft credit on the wife’s record. 

Soft credits can be set up to happen automatically by creating a relationship between the two constituents. You can set up an auto soft credit to happen only when one constituent enters a gift, or when either enters a gift by ensuring the Soft Credit button is marked "YES" on both relationship records.