What does the Donorfy to Mailchimp sync do?


The sync to MailChimp from Donorfy work as follows:

Constituent Details 

The following data from Donorfy is used when updating MailChimp:

  • Email address
  • Last Name
  • First Name

(last name and first name are held in MailChimp merge fields).

Only one email address will be used to populate Mailchimp, even if the constituent has multiple email addresses.


Communications Preferences: Channels, Preferred Channel and Purposes

The Donorfy to Mailchimp sync will use the "preferred" email from the Preferred Channel dropdown box in the preference centre.

Where an email address is present and the Permitted Channel contains email (either unconfirmed or confirmed) these will be synced to the MailChimp audience – you can filter out unconfirmed within your List so these are not sent if you prefer.

If a preferred email preference isn't set (i.e. set to a mailing address), then it will use the first email found from this sequence of checks:

  • Personal email 1 
  • Personal email 2 
  • Work email 1 
  • Work email 2 
  • Other email 1 
  • Other email 2


When a new constituent profile is created it is automatically set to 'Do Not Contact' as the Preferred Channel, these will not sync to MailChimp. To ensure that you are contacting constituents you need to you will also need to update their Preference Centre when adding directly to Donorfy or via the Channels and Purposes Tab when doing a File Upload.

Constituents added by other integrations (e.g. Eventbrite) are also automatically set to 'Do Not Contact' as the Preferred Channel, these will not sync to MailChimp.

If a record is marked as 'Do Not Contact' and is already subscribed to your MailChimp audience, the profile in Mailchimp will not be unsubscribed as this prevents the data from being synced.

When an email is marked as ‘No’ (red) it will unsubscribe, unless the record is marked as 'Do Not Contact'.

Where an email changes from 'No' (red) to confirmed, and has been previously unsubscribed in Mailchimp, the constituent will need to be re-subscribed from within MailChimp.



Tags and Purposes

Donorfy tags and purposes will be used to update MailChimp tags and interests as specified by your settings - see this article. Important this can lead to MailChimp tags and interests being removed from audience members as well as added.


Match Process

  • If a constituent appears on both the Donorfy list and the MailChimp audience we will check their details in Mailchimp match their details in Donorfy.
  • If a constituent appears on the Donorfy list but not the Mailchimp audience they will be added to the MailChimp audience
  • If a constituent has been blocked for email they will be unsubscribed from the MailChimp audience

Note that no information held in Donorfy will be modified during this process - to update Donorfy from MailChimp see this article.



Anyone who has been unsubscribed from a MailChimp audience will not be re-subscribed by the update from Donorfy, however, the update will not mark the corresponding constituent in Donorfy as being blocked for email.

The constituent's details and tags will remain in MailChimp, but their profile will be marked as unsubscribed.

NOTE: if a contact has been deleted from the MailChimp audience using "delete and remove", it cannot be added again by the Donorfy. The only way to add them back into the audience is if they re-subscribe using the form.


Email address sharing (one email for one or more constituents)

It is possible for multiple Donorfy constituents to share the same primary email address - if the multiple constituents sharing an email address appear on a Donorfy list being used to update MailChimp, the constituent with the higher/highest constituent number takes priority.





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