Marketing Automation for Nonprofits 101

Angie oversees Cazoomi's operations. She enjoys traveling, loves dogs, is a 1% Pledge supporter, and a start-up entrepreneur with investments in several APAC startups. 10 minute read

Marketing Automation for Nonprofits

Nonprofits have had a bad year during the pandemic, to put it mildly. Fifty-eight percent of nonprofits were reported to have significantly scaled down their services while 49 percent of them were forced to reduce their operational costs.

Nonprofit employees were also seriously affected, as 31 percent of the organizations sent their staff packing – some permanently and some temporarily.

The Covid-19 pandemic dealt a heavy blow to global nonprofits and, just like any other sector, most nonprofits were caught off guard. As a result, they were unable to effectively deliver services to their partners and beneficiaries.

To keep their fundraising programs going, the adoption of digital solutions was the only way out as these nonprofits had to incorporate and execute digital marketing and fundraising tactics.

A year and a half down the line, most of these organizations are now back on their feet thanks to automation.

In this article, we highlight some of the tried-and-tested automation solutions that have really helped nonprofits globally reduce their staff expenses and get more donations from their supporters.

How Automation Helps Nonprofits Thrive

Most nonprofits have embraced automation as their key driver for organizing and managing their fundraising campaigns.

After a prolonged crisis, automation has emerged as the go-to solution for maintaining lower overheads while at the same time maximizing revenue in order to survive.

To keep the adverse effects of the crisis at bay, nonprofits have realized the power of harnessing their data through automation solutions – tools that were, for the most part, thought to be a preserve of big corporations.

These organizations have derived immense value, saved precious time, and significantly reduced workload, not to mention operational costs, especially during the crisis period.

So, what are some of the compelling benefits that nonprofits today are reaping from automation?

1. Improved Nonprofit Touchpoints

Touchpoints are a critical factor in an organization. While human interaction with key donors and supporters is super important for nonprofits, current circumstances have made this critical factor unsustainable at least for the foreseeable future.

Automation has, however, helped nonprofits enhance their interactions with their donors using highly customized automation touchpoints that boost donor engagement and data analytics. This, in turn, helps nonprofits get better insights into their impact and reach.

2. CRM on Steroids

Nonprofits thrive on CRM. This not only ensures that they remain competitive but also makes sure they find the right audience information and also regulate and enhance their audience interactions.

CRM solutions enable nonprofits to track all communications, digital campaigns, assign projects to the right managers as well as consolidate crucial donor and audience data. The beauty of CRMs for nonprofits is that they provide automatic reporting, remote access to data, and a 360-degree overview of their audience.

3. Marketing Tool Extraordinaire

With more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States, competition for top donors is cutthroat. Throw in a global health crisis and the situation becomes survival of the fittest, at least in terms of attracting the much-needed attention for their respective fundraising activities.

Digital marketing and specifically email marketing for nonprofits are somewhat tricky since the audience will feel compelled to support causes that are in line with their current situation and interests. This is where marketing automation comes in handy for nonprofits.

Nonprofits need automation that will help them to consistently create better digital campaigns that trigger favorable reactions and consequently enhance their fundraising efforts. Some of the benefits of marketing automation for nonprofits include precise audience targeting with tailored content, return on investment measuring, and most importantly, less manual intervention with automated emailing.

4. Efficient Event Management

Nonprofits are heavy on events, using them to mobilize their donors and partners. These events are also used to attract media attention and influencers who in turn generate publicity for their causes. But we all know how stressful planning and managing an event is, especially if the nonprofit organization doesn’t have the financial muscle to retain an external events organizing company.

Luckily for nonprofits, automation will save them time and take the headache of performing repetitive tasks like sending invitation emails and responding to queries. Marketing automation tools also help to reduce the risk of data loss as well as to track the funds raised. It also helps with volunteer management, online registration as well as event budgeting.

Top Automation Options for Nonprofits

The internet is brimming with marketing automation tools that promise you the world but to be brutally honest, a good chunk of these are not reliable, not to mention safe to use in your organization.

Every dollar spent on an automation tool should deliver a decent ROI. A reliable, tried-and-tested automation solution should be cost-effective and be able to boost your fundraising and donor mobilization efforts. Here are some of the automation options you should demand from your automation platform.

1. List segmentation

Nonprofits send a ton of fundraising emails to their target audience and donors. This is a task that requires military precision in as far as sending the right content to the right recipients. The opposite of that can be catastrophic to the organization.

Segmentation In email Marketing

Image Source: HubSpot

With the right marketing automation tool, you will be able to segment your email list accordingly according to your audience’s needs and interests. They will be more responsive to your message and that will lead to the intended action, which is to donate.

2. Drip Campaigns

This is another highly effective marketing automation tactic that’s basically used to feed your target audience with bits of relevant information about an upcoming activity. This tactic helps to keep your audience well informed and what to expect as well as create much-needed awareness.

Marketers Guide to dripCampaigns infographic

Image Source: Business2Community

This is done through a series of emails to your audience list at scheduled intervals. With marketing automation, your campaign team is able to send the right messages to the right audience and at the right time further enhancing their impact.

3. Landing Pages

These are crucial sections of nonprofit websites that help you to rope in visitors to your organization. For a nonprofit, it could either be an event registration form, an ebook, or even a webinar that can also be used to capture visitor information in exchange for the offer.

Marketing automation can make these pages super effective by allowing you to schedule the right responses to queries and also for sending ‘thank you’ notes to visitors that sign in or subscribe.

4. Persona Profiling

Each nonprofit audience segment reacts differently to specific messages. Every segment also has a different size, needs, interests, and motivating factors, which will ultimately affect the outcome of your fundraising activity.

Marketing automation is particularly effective when it comes to profiling specific audiences by helping you and your campaign team to build strong and result-oriented audience segments. This way you are able to send targeted information while enhancing your email marketing response rate significantly.

5. Integration

Different automation tools that perform crucial functions in your nonprofit can be further enhanced through integration to create an effective and robust unified data syncing system.

When your automated solutions work together, they will significantly enhance productivity and creativity within the organization. Integration also boosts data flow between two or more automation solutions enabling you to get the best out of the data collected.

Salesforce For Constant Contact

At SyncApps we offer integration solutions specifically designed for nonprofits that can help you build and nurture life-long relationships with your supporters and stakeholders. Remember all the automation must-haves listed above? All of them — from drip campaigns to list segmentation can be immensely improved with integration.

Automation tools are great on their own but think about the kind of insights you can get if you combine the data from your CRM with that from your email automation platform. For instance, you will see exactly which of your existing donors open what emails. Better yet, this information will be available on a single platform that’s open to both your marketing and your sales departments.

Bye, bye siloed data! Hello, seamless collaboration!

Some of the most popular integration solutions for nonprofits include Mailchimp for Dynamics 365 that has helped nonprofits to seamlessly sync accounts, contacts and leads to Mailchimp Audience(s). This solution helps nonprofits track their ROI at the campaign level as well as their progress.

Another popular and result-oriented SyncApps integration for nonprofits is Constant Contact for Salesforce, which helps nonprofit organizations to effectively engage with their respective prospects, constituents, and partners in real-time.

UNICEF, an agency of the United Nations that is devoted to helping the world’s children and to fighting for the rights of every child, every day, across the globe is one of the astute users of the Constant Contact and Salesforce integration. By the way, did you know they started on our FREE plan? You can leverage the benefits of integration for free, too! Start here!


To minimize their operational costs, UNICEF needed an integration solution that seamlessly connected Mailchimp to their Dynamics 365. SyncApps by Cazoomi provided the right integration platform that helped UNICEF to sync accounts, contacts, and leads to a Mailchimp Audience.

They were also able to connect multiple Dynamics 365 instances to multiple Mailchimp accounts as well as filter and sync only those records that meet specific criteria from Dynamics 365. In doing so, they were able now to deploy effective email campaigns.


The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) relies on NetSuite and Mailchimp to reach the right people with the right message. Faced with segmentation as one of its biggest challenges, WWF reached out to SyncApps to help setting up their Sync Profiles so that they can sync data from different areas of their business between Mailchimp and NetSuite and vice versa.

Bidirectional Sync

It gets better.

SyncApps also integrates Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack with a plethora of automation solutions. Thus, you have access to a value-driven solution that can help you unify your fundraising, program management, marketing, and grantmaking teams and empower you to consistently deliver world-class experiences that drive next-level change and impact.

Final Thoughts

Marketing automation has opened up growth opportunities for nonprofits by providing them with cost-effective digital solutions that, in turn, boost their fundraising activities. Thanks to automation, nonprofits are now able to effectively plan ahead, trigger targeted email series for impactful digital campaigns, streamline lead captures, and boost their social media campaigns.

Integration, on the other hand, is the icing on the cake. It ensures that data is seamlessly synced across platforms so that it can be used to enhance interaction and engagement as well as help to develop better email campaigns for fundraising.

SyncApps by Cazoomi has always supported nonprofits. We believe they accomplish an important mission for us all and that they perform valuable work in sectors that governments often ignore or underfund. This is why ANY nonprofit has a 50% discount off ANY SyncApps package, along with completely free 24/7 support.

Start your integration journey with SyncApps — we’ll always be right by your side to help guide you whenever you need us!