Mailchimp - FAQs


Can we create and send Mailchimp email campaigns from Donorfy?

Traditional bulk email campaigns have to be created and sent in Mailchimp. The Donorfy-Mailchimp integration is mainly about keeping the Mailchimp Audience and Donorfy in sync. However you can initiate an automated campaign by actions within Donorfy - such as a donation being made online by a widget, or adding a tag.

Can we use Donorfy Campaign Members segments in Mailchimp?

No - you have to create your own segments in Mailchimp.

Can we send an automated supporter journey sequence when someone buys a specific product?

Yes. You would need your ecommerce system to create a record of the purchase in Donorfy via the API (or import), and then set up AutoTagging to create a tag on the constituent’s record. When the data is next sync’d to Mailchimp that can trigger an automated campaign that has been set up for that purpose.

Can we send event-related emails? Eg. Questionnaires post-event.

You could, but that would involve subscribing them to an Audience in Mailchimp for that purpose. We recommend that you use your event platform (eg Eventbrite) to do event-related comms. Why? They normally have the comms tools which enable timely, automated emails to be sent. And also because the data and the comms related to that event belong to that event, and once the event is over you can remove them. This is preferable from a GDPR perspective because you only need your CRM to contain the main details (which event, how much paid, whether opted in, whether attended or not) - which are automatically added to Donorfy by Eventbrite, as opposed to all the event details (e.g. dietary preferences, next of kin etc) which is personal data you don’t need to keep in your CRM, and therefore reduces your risk.

Ecommerce order-related emails

We recommend that you use the comms features of your ecommerce platform for that purpose. They normally have the comms tools which enable timely, automated emails to be sent. This is preferable from a GDPR perspective because you only need your CRM to contain the main details (date of order, value or order, product summary) - which can be automatically added to Donorfy via the API, as opposed to all the order-specific customer details (eg. delivery instructions etc) which is personal data you don’t need to keep in your CRM, and therefore reduces your risk. 

Why is the sync from Mailchimp to Donorfy automatic, but on-demand the other way round?

Most traffic will come from Mailchimp to Donorfy so will be automated. Feedback from usability research has been that people want visibility on what they’re about to send to Mailchimp from Donorfy - hence the preview option.

What about Mailchimp’s GDPR tools?

Short answer: because they’re covered by Groups and Tags, and using them for segmentation of your list for a campaign. More information at:

Does the sync handle merge fields too?

No it doesn’t. The first name, last name and email fields are all sync’d by default, and the mapped Groups and Tags.

What effect does the Email channel permissions have?

By turning it to red (off) it will unsubscribe the corresponding Mailchimp contact. If the subscriber unsubscribes themself, or a staff member does it for them in Mailchimp, the email channel remains unaffected. Why? Because it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want any emails from you - including transactional emails.

What if someone just wants to stop receiving one kind of email but keep receiving others?

They should just un-tick the appropriate groups on the Mailchimp form, as opposed to unsubscribing from the audience (and therefore all groups). The form may need designing to prevent unintended unsubscribes.

How do you stop constituents which have not signed up for specific emails from being automatically added to Mailchimp from Donorfy?

You need to make sure that your Donorfy List (the one you intend to use to update Mailchimp) is filtering out those people who do not have any of the mapped purposes selected.

What happens when someone unsubscribes in MC?

Any communication purposes mapped to the Mailchimp audience are blocked. 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 indicating that they have unsubscribed.

How do we update someone in Donorfy so that it unsubscribes them from MC?

You can open up their Mailchimp profile from within Donorfy and unsubscribe them in Mailchimp. Mailchimp will then do the corresponding Donorfy updates automatically, assuming the webhook is configured.

Alternatively, you could turn the email channel to red or Archive the constituent. The next sync from Donorfy to Mailchimp will unsubscribe them in Mailchimp.


What happens when someone re-subscribes?

Where a re-subscription occurs in Mailchimp, then the resubscribe is sent into Donorfy. Similarly, a log is created and an Activity added to the constituent profile.

Where the re-subscribe is actioned from within Donorfy (i.e by setting a Purpose to OK and the email channel is set as OK), this will not be sent back up to Mailchimp. Instead, those resubscriptions will need to be manually re-subscribed in Mailchimp.

When you run a sync to Mailchimp, on the review screen there is an option to download those already unsubscribed - you can then use that download to verify and update the profile in Mailchimp. Once updated, in Mailchimp, the sync can be deleted, theList refreshed and the sync re-started. Those that you have re-subscribed in Mailchimp will then update the Mailchimp with the most recent Purposes and Tags.


What happens when you delete someone in Mailchimp?

Deleting profiles within Mailchimp won't delete the person from within Donorfy.

However, this is may not be the best course of action as when deleting within Mailchimp the deletion is permanent and can not be undone (easily). You may also find some sync errors occurring with your lists to the point that you need to exclude those individuals from your list.

If any of those constituents then want to be re-added to receive emails then you would need to use the following workaround: you can contact each person directly and ask them to re-subscribe via a Mailchimp form - this article from MailChimp may help:

How do we track opt-ins to emails when they are given in other systems?

Eventbrite, JustGiving, Stripe/GoCardless Widgets, Campaign Donation Pages are all automated. For other systems:

  • If using API to populate Donorfy, you can update purposes there
  • If using File Uploader you can update purposes there too
  • When you run the next sync it will populate/update MailChimp accordingly

How are Bounced emails dealt with?

Bounced email addresses are not synced. You will need to report on these (Cleaned emails) within Mailchimp and then update Donorfy separately.

I have another system that updates MailChimp - How will this affect Donorfy?

Please see this article for more info

How long does the sync process take?

This is all dependant on how many people are in your Donorfy List and MailChimp audience. A small list can take a couple of minutes, whilst a large list (in excess of 10K records) could take a few hours to complete the processes. 

If you feel it's taking an overlong period of time to complete, then please do contact Donorfy Support.


My API key is no longer in MailChimp what happens when I add a new API Key into Donorfy?

If your API Key is no longer within MailChimp and you add a new API key or want to switch to a new API key, this new key will need to be added into your MailChimp Settings in Donorfy.

Changing the API Key in Donorfy will effectively reset the connection to MailChimp and you will therefore need to re-add all of your Mappings.

It is highly suggested that you take a copy (screenshot or copy and paste) of your mappings prior to changing the API Key so you have a reference poiunt of what needs to be re-mapped.


The Mailchimp Activity Feed shows email as opted out why is this?

If your audience is GDPR-enabled, contacts added via the Mailchimp API are opted out of email and other GDPR related items by default. The Donorfy to Mailchimp integration does not use these features so these can be ignored.

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


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