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Donor Participation Project

Automate and Organize with Airtable: A Walkthrough for Nonprofit Fundraisers

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you have a lot of moving parts to keep track of: donors, events, partnerships, and more. Airtable is a cloud-based database platform that can help you organize all your information in one place and automate repetitive tasks.

In a recent webinar, nonprofit consultant Jamie Smith walked through how to get started with Airtable. You can build an Airtable base (a collection of tables) from scratch or use one of their pre-built project management templates. For nonprofits, Smith recommends starting with the donor database, events planning, or fundraising campaign templates.

Once you have a template, you can customize it to meet your needs. Add or remove columns, create different views to visualize your data, and link records between tables. For example, you can have one table for donors, one for events, and link a donor record to any events they’ve attended. These connections help ensure all relevant information is in one spot.

Airtable’s real power comes from its automation features.

You can set up automatic notifications, sync data between bases, standardize information, and send customized emails. For instance, when a new donor signs up for an event, you can automatically send them an email with the details and their menu selection. Or if a donor’s contact information changes, you can sync that update across all your Airtable bases.

Airtable may seem complicated, but you don’t need coding or IT experience to use it. While the platform is highly flexible, Smith emphasizes that “the secret to good project management is thinking through what information you need, where and when.” Focus on who needs what information and when. Then you can build an Airtable system tailored to your needs and adjust it as those needs change.

With some time invested upfront, Airtable can save you hours of repetitive work and give you more time to focus on fundraising for your cause. For small nonprofits, it provides an easy to use “source of truth” database that doesn’t require a huge budget or learning curve. Follow Smith’s advice: start simple by just “clicking around” and “you won’t break it!”

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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