Using the Zapier integration
As of May 20, 2020, this feature is now available in all LGL accounts. A big "thank you" to our beta testers!
In this article:
- What is Zapier?
- Step by step
This article describes how to set up the Zapier integration in your LGL account. The bulk of this article describes the steps to follow for getting your account set up, for creating a Zap and for managing incoming data:
- Account set-up: making the Zapier integration available in your LGL account and setting up a Zapier account
- Create a Zap: in your Zapier account, linking a Trigger with an Action
- Managing incoming data: where to find the data that comes into your LGL account from Zapier
What is Zapier?
Zapier is "middleware" that sits between two other services. It allows software services to create Triggers and Actions. Each combination of a Trigger and an Action is called a Zap. As the names suggest, a Trigger is what gets a Zap started and an Action is what happens on the receiving end.
Last but not least, here's a tip on how to pronounce Zapier: It rhymes with "happier".
Examples of how our integration could be used
- Twitter => LGL -- Twitter has a Zapier Trigger called "you have a new follower." You could use this Trigger to update a new or existing constituent record in LGL.
- Gravity Forms => LGL -- If you use Gravity Forms in your WordPress account, you can use their Trigger to push a donation over to LGL. (Of course, LGL forms is nice because it already has a powerful integration built in.)
- Google spreadsheet => LGL -- This might be the simplest way to test out a Zap of your own. You can use a Google Sheet as the Trigger so that any time a new row is added to a sheet it triggers a Zap.
There are over 1,500 applications that have built Triggers or Actions for Zapier, so there are a lot of software services to choose from. Little Green Light has created one Action called "Import Constituent/Gift Data", which allows you to create or edit a constituent record and optionally to add an associated gift record. To see if the software you want to use has a Zapier Trigger, try doing a web search for your software and Zapier, such as " Facebook zapier".
Step by step
You'll see Zapier as an option in your Integration Settings page, and if you click on Zapier in the list of integrations you'll see there are two steps listed as the first things you'll need to do:
1. Create a Zapier account if you don't already have one
You need to have a Zapier account.
Pricing: Zapier is free for up to 5 different Zaps, and you can have up to 100 Tasks performed (a Task is counted each time a Zap is triggered). The free version checks for Zaps every 15 minutes, so it's not truly instantaneous. Paid plans start at around $20/month; see Zapier's pricing page for details. Zapier offers a small discount on paid plans for nonprofits: You can apply for nonprofit pricing here.
If you don't already have a Zapier account, sign up for one.
Be careful if you have a change in Administrator for your LGL or Zapier account:
Unless you're paying for one of the expensive Zapier team or company tiers, only one user can work in any given Zapier account. That same user has to be an Administrator in their LGL account AND they have to have access to the "Trigger" software they're integrating. For example, if John Greene is using Zapier to link data from a Google Sheet to his LGL account, ALL of the following must be true:
- The work will be done in John Greene's Zapier account
- John Greene needs to be an Administrator in his LGL account
- John Greene needs to have access to the Google Sheet he wants to use as the data source (Trigger)
If John Greene leaves his nonprofit, then a new Administrator will need to re-create John's Zapier integrations in their own Zapier account (and have access to the Trigger software).
2. Click the LGL integration invitation on the Integration Settings page
Click the special invitation link you see on the Integration Settings page. This exposes LGL as an app in your Zapier account. For easy reference, here's a copy of that special invitation link:
When you click that link, it will take you to a page like this in your Zapier account. On this page, click the "Accept invite & build a Zap" button at the bottom:
Create a Zap
Creating a Zap involves defining the Trigger and the Action, each of which has multiple steps:
- Choose the software service where the data will be coming from
- Select the exact Trigger to use (your selected software may provide more than one)
- Complete any other necessary steps (i.e., identify a specific source file)
We don't provide specific instructions for choosing your Trigger, because the exact steps will vary based on the software you choose.
- Choose App: Little Green Light (1.0.1)
- Choose Action Event: Import Constituent/Gift Data
- Choose Account: select: your LGL account
- Customize Import: map incoming data fields to receiving fields
Troubleshooting tip: If at this point Zapier tells you things are taking too long, we have found that using the Incognito window in Chrome, or the equivalent in another browser, helps get past that issue.
At this step, you are defining how you want LGL to handle the data you're sending over.
Per the screenshot shown below,
- You'll see all of the possible fields you can set. It's a long list because it encompasses many of the fields for constituent and gift records. You'll likely leave most of them blank (unless you're gathering a lot of information in your Trigger).
- "1" - Note that some fields are required. See "1" in the screenshot below.
- "2" - Two of the required fields ask you to select how you want the incoming records to match to your existing constituent records and whether you want the incoming records to wait for your review in the Integration Queue. The dropdown arrow will show you the available choices. See "2" in the screenshot below.
- "3" - All other fields allow you to map the fields from the data sent by your Trigger. If you click on the fields icon on the right, you'll see the fields that are being sent from your Trigger. Alternatively, if you want to pass in a fixed value, you can simply type in the blank field and whatever you type will be passed on to LGL. See "3" in the screenshot below.
Splitting multiple values
You can pass multiple values to a multi-select constituent category in LGL. Just be sure to use either a comma or semicolon to separate the values. Our Zapier integration automatically splits these into individual values. For example, if you are passing in "Alumni; Volunteer" to Groups, then those will come in as two values: "Alumni" and "Volunteer".
Test your Zap and publish it
Zapier has a nice testing process built in, so you can test your connections along the way and see how the Zap will work. They ask you to have at least one submission in your Trigger app so that you can work with a real record as you do your initial mapping. As the final step in setting up your Zap, you will click a button to publish your Zap. Then it's a good idea to test it again by submitting another record and making sure that data arrived in your LGL account. Note that the free version of Zapier says there will be up to a 15-minute delay for the data to get processed.
Managing incoming data
When you map your Zap, you will see an option to require review (which is set to yes by default). If your Zap requires review, you will find incoming records in the Integration Queue in your LGL account:
If you have instead selected not to require review, then the records will be processed all the way into your LGL account. You can see every Zapier submission by looking in the Saved folder in your Integration Queue.
Special invitation link
This link is listed above as well, but for handy reference, here it is again:
Complete list of fields you can map to
These are the LGL fields you can map to using our Zapier Action:
| Import settings
Import Name [required]
Constituent matching preferences [required]
Require review? [required]
External constituent ID
Phone number 1
Phone number 2
Address line 1
Address line 2
| Constituent categories
Constant Contact Lists
Custom Constituent Categories
Note Date - Original
What can I NOT do with this integration?
You can use Zapier to get data into LGL but not to get data out of LGL. To get data out of LGL in a systematic way, one option to consider is a Scheduled Report and the Permanent Link option.
There are also a number of field types that it is not possible to bring into LGL via Zapier:
- Education info
- Contact Reports
And there are a number of constituent fields that it is not possible to bring into LGL via Zapier:
| Constituent fields
Spouse/partner first name
Spouse/partner last name
Annual report name
LGL constituent ID
| Contact info
LGL email ID
LGL phone ID
Address line 3
City, state, zip
LGL address ID