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Charity needs help making Airtable CRM with unified customer accounts linked to multip initiatives

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newchas
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

We’re a small charity that has seen an exponential growth in donations over the past 6 months. Our existing donor management system on Airtable isn’t scalable to our current needs. I appreciate this is quite a complex query. So I'm initially looking for a feasibility check and some advice on how to meet our requirements. 


Main issues

  • 4+ disconnected Airtable bases (for different charity initiatives/ programs)
  • No unified customer accounts (bases are siloed, no unified user ID resulting in duplicates on single/ multiple bases, no unified user donation history)


Requirements

  • Creating unified customer accounts
  • Merging existing duplicate accounts across different bases
  • Linking user accounts to different initiative bases
  • Tracking multiple donation entries from a single customer across single/multiple initiatives
  • Adding accounts to unified and initiative specific mailing lists


Suggested workflow

  • User completes form on WordPress (WordPress form)
    1. New customer: unified user account created on Airtable and added to master contact list
      1. User account linked to initiative base and new entry created from form details
      2. User added to initiative mailing list
      3. User added to unified mailing list base
    2. Existing customer: new base entry connected to existing user account
      1. Donating again/ repeat donation (to the same initiative)
        1. New entry added to previous initiative and linked to user account
      2. Donating to new initiative
        1. User account linked to new initiative base and new entry created from form details
        2. User added to new initiative mailing list


Questions

  • Is this feasible in Airtable?
  • Is it possible for users to create customer accounts on Airtable using WordPress forms and Webhooks? Or would this need to be done with an Airtable form
  • Are there alternate approaches to achieve all or some of these requirements?

Thanks,
Charles

3 Replies 3
Matt_Jastremski
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi Charles,
First of all, congratulations on the growth! It sounds like an exciting time for your organization.
I appreciate the detail you put in your post - it makes it pretty clear what you're trying to accomplish.
Short answer to your questions (in my opinion):

  • Yes this seems feasible in Airtable, though this is about the time you'd need to weigh some additional tools that extend functionality. This could look like an integration service like make.com and/or an Airtable web frontend tool like softr. 
    • Depending on your requirements, it might make sense to move all of the tables into one base, or you may be able to use Airtable sync to at least bring them into one base to work with.
  • It seems like you have a few options here. I haven't done this exact thing before, but it looks like you could use a WordPress plugin like wpconnect, or possibly embed a fillout.com form as an embed block or via custom HTML block or the code editor.
  • Depending on how much flexibility you have with your website, it might be worth considering replacing the whole site with something like softr, which will integrate with Airtable more comprehensively. There's a lot to consider about such a switch.
    • I would also take a look at if there is purpose-built donor management software out there that fits the bill. I don't know enough about products in that space, but I think that's ultimately about whether you want to keep your data operation in house or outsource it.

If it were me working on such a project, I'd:

  • Nail down all of the requirements (I think you're pretty close, I'd just be curious about some edge cases)
  • Determine a budget and timeline
  • Evaluate a few different approaches (upgrade existing setup and integrate with WP vs rewrite site vs external product, etc) for cost/benefit, with consideration to longer term strategy.
  • Develop a data consolidation/migration plan
  • Build, test, launch!

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with!

Matt

Hi @newchas,

I don’t really have much more to add to what @Matt_Jastremski outlined above, but you will probably also want to add Make’s advanced automations & integrations to your tool chest (in addition to Fillout’s advanced forms for Airtable and all the other tools that Matt outlined above.) Make is far superior to Zapier, and I wrote an entire post about it here

In general, it is not typically possible for Airtable to be an all-in-one-solution on its own, but once you add in all the other 3rd-party apps on the market, you can absolutely do everything that you are interested in doing. 

Hope this helps! If you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant to help you with anything Airtable-related, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consultant — ScottWorld 

re: Is this feasible in Airtable?

Yeap
---

re: Is it possible for users to create customer accounts on Airtable using WordPress forms and Webhooks?

Yeah, you'd need to build a bunch of stuff for it though.  If you could flip the flow around it would be a lot easier; specifically, what if your flow was:
1. User fills out form to set donation and only keys in email address
2. On Airtable, you have an automation that looks for a user with that email address
  - If it finds it, it links the new donation entry to that user
  - If it doesn't find it, it sends that user an email with a form asking them to fill in their details
    - Once user fills out that form, adds them to the mailing list, mailing list base, etc, links it to the new donation entry

If you used an Airtable form you could just embed it on your site and call it a day, but if you wanted to use WordPress forms you could too, you'd just need to do some extra work to push that data into Airtable
---

re: Are there alternate approaches to achieve all or some of these requirements?

Yeah, but Airtable on its own should work fine