Step 3: Updating Donorfy from Mailchimp


You can link Mailchimp to Donorfy so that when someone...

  • Subscribes to a Mailchimp audience (formerly list), or
  • Changes their preferences in Mailchimp, or 
  • Unsubscribes from a Mailchimp audience 

... the Details in Donorfy are updated - the updates in Donorfy can be as follows:

  • When someone subscribes to a Mailchimp audience
    • Add a new constituent in Donorfy if they do not already exist
    • Allow email communications channel
    • Allow communication purposes and/or add tags  
  • When someone updates their preferences in Mailchimp
    • Allow or block communication purposes 
    • Add or remove tags  
  • When someone unsubscribes from a Mailchimp audience
    • Block communication purposes 

Using custom forms to populate Mailchimp

If your website uses custom forms (as opposed to Mailchimp's forms / popups etc) to populate Mailchimp via its API you will not be able to use webhooks to update Donorfy from Mailchimp. Why?

A note about Tags

PLEASE NOTE: adding or removing a Tag to or from a Mailchimp subscriber does not automatically update Donorfy. This is because the Mailchimp webhook is not triggered under these conditions.

Where someone is added directly to a Mailchimp audience and tags are added, these will overwrite the data on a tag of the same name that may already be present on the constituent profile - any extra fields data will be therefore removed.

Setting Up the Link between Mailchimp and Donorfy 

Donorfy purposes & tags can be added or removed based on Mailchimp groups and tags - the mapping for this needs to be set up for Mailchimp to update Donorfy - see this article for more information.

To set up the sync you will need to create a webhook within Mailchimp so Mailchimp can send changes to Donorfy:

  • Log in to Mailchimp with your admin account.
  • Find the existing Mailchimp audience you want to use (or create a new one) and select Settings from the Manage Audience drop-down list


  • From within the settings, select Webhooks
  • Press the Create New Webhook button

Establishing the webhook link

  • In the field named CallbackURL enter the Donorfy webhook URL followed by your Donorfy API key as follows:  

To locate your Donorfy API Key (Please note that this is not the Mailchimp API key that was used to link the two systems within the configuration settings stage)

  • Within Donorfy visit Settings | Account | Donorfy Settings
  • Copy your Donorfy API key - see this knowledge base article for help with that.

  • The Callback URL field should now resemble:
  • Next, select all updates except 'Campaign sending' 

  • Make sure you are not sending updates made via the API  - i.e. don't tick the 'via the API' box. IMPORTANT NOTE - you will not be able to populate Donorfy from Mailchimp using webhooks if your website has custom forms that populate Mailchimp via its API (as opposed to using Mailchimp's forms and popups). Why?


  • Save your changes


What the Link will do

When a someone subscribes, updates their profile or unsubscribes from a Mailchimp audience the link will

  • Try and find an existing Donorfy constituent with the email address of the subscriber, if
    • All constituents having the email address will be updated
    • If no constituents have that email a new constituent will be added for subscribes otherwise the update will be ignored
  • The constituent will be updated as follows
    • For new subscribers and profile updates, the link will
      • make sure the email channel is open 
      • ensure that communication purposes are allowed as per the mapping between Donorfy and the Mailchimp audience
      • tags are added as per the mapping between Donorfy and the Mailchimp audience
    • For unsubscribes,
      • Any communication purposes mapped to the Mailchimp audience are blocked
      • Any tags mapped to Mailchimp will remain
      • The status of the email channel is not changed - i.e. it is not blocked 
    • A history item will be added to the preference centre for the purposes and channel updates
    • An Activity will be added to the constituent's timeline


Items to Note:

If you use an existing Mailchimp audience, details of existing subscribers will not be automatically loaded into Donorfy - to do that you will need to export the Mailchimp audience and upload into Donorfy using the File Uploader.

The link will also not automatically load any contacts that have been manually imported into Mailchimp - to do that you will need to export the Mailchimp audience and upload into Donorfy using the File Uploader.


To be Resolved List

There are some circumstances where Donorfy needs your help to decide what happens when a conflict arises - these typically are when an email address sent by Mailchimp to Donorfy matches more than one constituent in Donorfy. 

These cases show up in Donorfy under Integrations > Mailchimp @ To Be Resolved tab. Each case requiring resolution is shown with options for you to use to resolve the situation. 



History of Updates

You can see the updates that have happened by clicking on the Mailchimp Sync option under Data Management and looking on the history tab



Testing the Link 

To check the link is working as you expect you can add a test subscriber to your Mailchimp audience - setting Mailchimp groups and tags as you want. The details will be sent through to your Donorfy - note that Donorfy queues up requests so it may take a few seconds for the updates to come through.

You can update the groups and tags of your test subscriber in Mailchimp - the mapped Donorfy purposes and tags will be updated.

If you unsubscribe your test subscriber the purposes and tags mapped to the Donorfy constituent will be removed. 


The Donorfy Academy features a learning course for Mailchimp - enrol here


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