Using Zapier to Automate & Simplify your Fundraising

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Did you know that Donorfy can integrate with online tools such as Zapier?

In this article, Donorfy Customer Success Manager Duncan looks back at how he used the two platforms while launching a new awareness and fundraising campaign at Mission Rabies.

What We Set Out To Do

It’s crucial that you know what you want to achieve by using automation tools such as Zapier. It’s very easy to get excited by the idea of automation, but if you jump in without being able to clearly define your outcomes you are setting yourself up to fail.

We were launching a new awareness and fundraising campaign which included running lead generation adverts on Facebook. Normally with Facebook lead ads, you have to download and process your captured data manually. Given the small nature of my team, I couldn’t commit to this on a timescale which also ensured a good supporter experience (after all, who wants to wait days to hear from an organisation you’ve just given permission to contact you?!).

So, my mission was clear, move the data from Facebook into Donorfy and MailChimp as quickly as possible to engage with everyone who had given me their data while they were still interested.

The Solution and Impact

Using Zapier’s integrations with Facebook and MailChimp, alongside the Donorfy API, I was able to move new Facebook Leads into Donorfy and to MailChimp with seconds of a form being completed. This passing of data also included contextual tracking information such as which target audience the supporter was from and which version of the adverts they’d seen – allowing a seamless continuation of narrative from Facebook into emails and online donation pages.

Normally, you would expect your return on investment for lead generation to be less than 100% - i.e. it costs money to acquire new supporters. However, thanks to Donorfy giving full API access which unlocked a seamless and speedy supporter journey, my return on investment was 125% - the donations I received from the new supporters I acquired through this campaign were greater than my cost to acquire them.

The Mechanics

A zap (or automated task) needs a Trigger to start. In this example that’s a new lead being generated in Facebook, but check out Zapier’s integrations page to see the huge variety of triggers in existence. It is also worth noting that you could use a Donorfy Trigger with an HTTP Post action to kick-start a zap.


Zapier now (temporarily) holds the data captured by Facebook, so we simply need to instruct it to send it Donorfy and create a new Constituent for us.

To do this, we need to use the ‘Webhooks by Zapier’ function and use the Donorfy API Endpoints to send the right instruction to your database. Note that the Donorfy API allows you to add, edit and delete pretty much any entity (Constituents, Activities, Transactions, RPIs etc.). Depending on the task you are completing, the set-up may be slightly different, but this shows how to use the POST command to add a new Constituent.

  • The URL you need will always start with followed by your unique API Key, which can be found under Settings > Account > Donorfy Settings – everything after your API Key is then determined by the task you are completing, and is documented in the API Endpoints.

  • The Payload Type will always be ‘json’.

  • For the Data fields, the headings are all listed under the specific command you are using in the API Endpoints (not shown in the video: you can use the heading ‘ActiveTags’ to set a Constituent up with Tags in place to record the tracking data mentioned above).

  • For Basic Auth, you will need to generate an Access Key within Donorfy by going to Settings > Configuration > API Settings. Once you have this, the Basic Auth field needs to contain a ‘username’ which you define, in this example ‘Zapier’, followed by a | (vertical bar) and the Access Key you generated from within Donorfy.

  • In your Headers, you will need to use ‘content-type’ > ‘application/json’ for any Webhook you are creating.

And there you go! You now have a new Constituent within Donorfy within seconds of the lead being generated from Facebook. The API will return a Constituent ID to Zapier, which would allow you to work with that Constituent further (for example, to apply GDPR consent using the POST ‘Preferences’ command).

The final stage that I needed the zap to complete was to add the contact to MailChimp. This uses a Zapier integration, and is self-explanatory. I then set up an automation within MailChimp which all new subscribers were enrolled on to continue their supporter journey (again, this was all tailored to the ad creative they had seen, for a seamless continuation of the narrative).

A Note On Scalability

Zapier is an excellent tool which allows you to quickly create your own automations/integrations to test an approach or for a time-limited period.

It is worth noting that there is a cost to the platform and that your monthly bill is determined by the number of tasks you use within your zaps. (The above example uses three tasks every time a new lead is generated: create a Constituent, update Channel & Purpose consent, and add the Contact to MailChimp)

Therefore, once you have proved that an automated task works for you, it may be more economical in the longer term to explore a custom integration with one of our certified partners.


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