Mailchimp (Legacy) - getting started

Donorfy Lists sync with Mailchimp Lists so you never have to enter the same information into both systems.

What it does

A Donorfy List can contain many Constituents, and some will have chosen email as their preferred means of hearing from you. The Donorfy-Mailchimp connector ensures those Constituents appear in the corresponding Mailchimp List so that you can then send them your Mailchimp Campaigns. It also means that any subscriber added to Mailchimp (either via a Mailchimp online form or being added manually to the list) is added to Donorfy - as long as the Lists are already connected to one another (see below).

For a more detailed  explanation of how the sync works see the article 'Mailchimp - how it works'.

Important please be aware that the sync can unsubscribe people from your Mailchimp List based on data you have in Donorfy.

Getting Started

You need to do the following in Donorfy:

Create the Donorfy Constituent list you want to sync to your Mailchimp List - see this article 


  1. The list must be a Constituent list
  2. The type of list must be either Manual or Combined - this is because List Tags are used to include and exclude constituents from the Mailchimp list. If your list is a Filtered list it will be changed to a Combined list during the initial synchronisation.
  3. A  Mailchimp list should only be sync'd to one Donorfy list - otherwise, as 2 Donorfy lists could contain different constituents, you would end up with a situation where people where being continually subscribed and unsubscribed from your Mailchimp list 

Add any checks for purposes and channels you need together with any filters.

Find your Donorfy API key - see this knowledge base article for help with that.

The next thing you need to do is set some things up in Mailchimp - you can sync your Donorfy list to an existing Mailchimp List or create a new Mailchimp List.  

  • Log into Mailchimp with your admin account.
  • Find the existing Mailchimp list you want to use or create a new one.

You need to create a web hook so Mailchimp can send changes to Donorfy

  • Click on the Mailchimp Settings Menu - choose the webhooks option 
  • Press the Create New Webhook button
  • In the field CallbackURL enter the Donorfy webhook URL followed by your Donorfy API key  i.e.  your entry make look like - see this knowledge base article
  • Make sure you are not sending updates made via the api  - i.e. don't tick the 'via the API' box

  • Save your changes

Generate a Mailchimp API key

  • Generate a Mailchimp API key (in Admin | Account | Extras | API keys - click Create A Key button. Mailchimp will create a unique API key for your account and display it:

  • Copy the API key to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).

Go back to Donorfy

  • Go to the Constituent List that you wish to sync with Mailchimp
  • Choose the Mailchimp tab

  • Enter the Mailchimp API key generated above in the API key field (Ctrl+V to paste it from the clipboard)

  • Press the tick button on the end of the API Key field

  • Select the Mailchimp list name from the dropdown box

  • Press the Start Synchronisation button

This sets up the synchronisation process which updates Mailchimp based on changes in Donorfy.

The sync runs is scheduled to automatically run in the background.  You can manually start a sync by press the Sync Now button on the Mailchimp tab - that will start the sync running in background.

The first time the list is sync'd people who have subscribed to your Mailchimp list will be added to Donorfy - this means the first sync can take longer than normal. 

Congratulations! You've set up the sync between the email Constituents on a Donorfy List with subscribers to a Mailchimp List.

The synchronisation is automatic from this point on, but see the Mailchimp - resolving conflicts article to find out what to do when the sync needs a human to make a decision.

Please note the there is a delay in the synchronisation: changes made in one system (Donorfy or Mailchimp) may take up to an hour to show up in the other system.

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