Mailchimp (Legacy) - how it works


A Mailchimp list can be sync’d with a Donorfy list - the Donorfy list must be a manual or combined list.

The first time the your Mailchimp and Donorfy lists are synchronised we will

  • add constituents to Donorfy that are on your Mailchimp list but don’t already exist in Donorfy - we will also add a Tag for the list membership in their List Overrides
  • add people to your Mailchimp list that are on your Donorfy list but are not on the Mailchimp list - provided that 
    • they have a first name and a last name
    • they have a active valid email address
    • they are not blocked for email
    • they are not archived
    • their Communication preferences are not Do Not Contact

We use email addresses to check for matches between Mailchimp and Donorfy - we check all email addresses a constituent has. If we find more than one Donorfy constituent with an email address from the Mailchimp list we will create a review action which will need to be resolved - these can be found under Data Management | Mailchimp Sync

If a Donorfy constituent, sync'd to a corresponding MailChimp subscriber, is changed so that it

  • is blocked for email, or
  • does not have a active valid email address, or
  • is Archived, or
  • its communication preferences are Do Not Contact  

Then the next time we sync the two lists they will be unsubscribed from the Mailchimp list - note that if a constituent has a list override tag for the list being sync’d then that will still appear in the list in Donorfy but the criteria listed above (email blocked etc) will cause them to unsubscribed from the Mailchimp list

Day to Day Updates

Removing someone from a List - if a constituent no longer wants to be on a particular list then you should exclude the list tag - see List Tags for more information

Adding someone to a List - if a constituent wants to be on a particular list then you should add an include list tag - see List Tags for more information

Changing Details - If you change a constituent’s first name, last name or email address in Donorfy those changes will be synchronised to Mailchimp - note that those changes will apply to the person so will affect all Mailchimp lists that person is on.

Archiving a Constituent - if you archive a constituent then they will be unsubscribed from all Mailchimp lists

The Email address we use depends on the ‘Contact details to use’ setting of the Donorfy list and the communication preference settings a constituent has - see the Communication Preferences knowledgebase article for more information. However if a constituents communication preferences do not specify which email address to use but you have

  • Included them on a list you are sync'ing
  • They are not blocked for email or archived

Then we will use any preferred email address they have - if there is no preferred email they will not be sync'd. 

Changes to constituent information in Donorfy get sent to Mailchimp every hour.

Changes made via Mailchimp (e.g. directly to your list or via a Mailchimp web widget) get synchronised from Mailchimp to Donorfy almost immediately.

What did the sync do?

When the synchronisation process updates your Mailchimp list we pass a reason for the update to Mailchimp - this is stored in a field called Donorfy Sync Info in Mailchimp.

To see this information go into Mailchimp open your list and click on the Toggle Columns button and include the Donorfy Sync Info column or view a subscribers details.

On the Mailchimp tab for a list you will find the date and time of the last sync and a summary of the changes - as per the example below:


If the subscriber was removed from the list you will see something like this:

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Lisa Oeder

    Can one MailChimp list synchronise with more than one Donorfy list?

  • Avatar
    Ben Brett

    No only one list should be sync'd

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