Main / Blog / 
Marketing Automation for Nonprofits [6 Fundamental Tips for HubSpot]

Marketing Automation for Nonprofits [6 Fundamental Tips for HubSpot]

While not explicitly designed for nonprofits, many marketing automation tools offer a suite of powerful features that can be leveraged as part of the fundraising process. HubSpot, for example, is a potent platform that can be used for marketing automation for nonprofits. 

It has a number of useful features that integrate seamlessly with the fundraising process to segment your audience, improve conversion rates, and simplify the nurturing process. Hence, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the top-rated marketing automation platforms on G2.

Let’s take a closer look at what they are and how you can use them.

1. Automatically Segment Your Contacts by Activity Level

HubSpot’s Active List feature allows you to automatically segment contacts captured by the system based on the previously determined characteristics. With the ability to 

  • create up to 1,000 custom characteristics (properties) on top of the 
  • 100+ built-in ones and with numerous
  • activity trackers, 

HubSpot has an unprecedented ability to deliver messages to the right people in line with your marketing for nonprofits campaigns. 

Example of HubSpot’s Active List feature
Create Active Lists That Automatically Update Based on Specific Properties or Activities


You can segment donors by activity level, current donation level, location, organization, date, or dozens of other activities captured by the system. Lists can also be created to segment users based on activities, frequency or volume of actions taken, and overall engagement levels.

For example, you can use the HubSpot Score property to assign a numerical value to the level of activity a prospect has undertaken, using those scores to segment users by likelihood to donate.

2. A/B Test Your Campaigns

HubSpot’s marketing automation for nonprofits includes the option to split test your donation landing pages, emails and call to action buttons. Experimenting with different donation page versions gives you invaluable insight into what works for different audiences and how to increase your conversion rate.

Example of A/B versions
A/B Test Your Donation Landing Pages to Determine Which Version Performs Best With a Specific Audience

If you have a large database, are running an expansive campaign, or are investing in advertising, this can be an immensely useful tool in evaluating what works best in your campaigns. A/B reporting data is available directly on the landing page and email dashboards and can be turned on and off as you please. 

Curious Fact: Giving Tuesday is the best period for testing campaigns for 82% of the nonprofits. If you’re stuck for ideas, a list of Giving Tuesday tips may be just what you need.

3. Customize Content Based on Donor Data

A practical HubSpot tip that works across every sector, including nonprofits, is HubSpot's Smart Content feature. This feature allows you to display content differently to users based on a list you’ve already segmented them into or their current lifecycle stage. Marketing Enterprise provides additional smart content segmentation options based on events and activities within the system as well as location.

Example of a smart content rule in HubSpot
Use Smart Content to Customize the Display of Content and Images on Your Landing Pages Based on User Data

For example, you can adjust the default landing page on your website to show different messaging for existing donors vs prospects who have not yet donated. The same segmentation can be done for other marketing automation examples such as emails for individual bits that might be specific to certain users. You can streamline the donation return process and provide emails and landing pages that match user interests more accurately.

4. Build Workflows to Automate Key Tasks

HubSpot’s workflow feature is one of its most powerful marketing automation for nonprofits, offering the ability to automate actions based on dozens of triggers. Using donor data, you can send reminder emails automatically at set intervals, followup with people who don’t engage with your campaigns, and create nurturing tracks for donors, volunteers, or lapsed donors.

Example of workflow automation in HubSpot
Create Workflows That Automate Intricate Processes and Communications Based on User Segmentation or Activities 


Workflow triggers can be events, property changes, or list memberships, giving you the flexibility to extend your campaigns beyond manual actions. Actions include updating contact properties, sending emails, creating tasks and reminders for internal users, and much more. Automating these mundane yet important tasks, resulted in more time for unique tasks and personalized communication for 49% of Swiss companies who participated in a survey conducted by Pedalix.

5. Run Advanced Reports on Campaign Performance

HubSpot’s reporting modules can be customized to evaluate the performance of your efforts at a granular level. Out of the box, HubSpot comes with more than 100 ready-made reports that you can drop into your Dashboards. However, you can also create dozens of custom reports for one or more objects in the system, allowing you to track and measure the performance of your efforts.

Example of advanced reporting in HubSpot
Run Reports Based on Lifecycle Stage, Activity, or Donation Amount Using Pre-built or Custom Reports


The marketing reporting tools for nonprofits make it easier to visualize your donations by timeframe, list segment, and channel. You can also evaluate the performance of individual emails or landing pages in the context of a large campaign, and see how many people return and donate a second time after their initial donation.

6. Track User Activity From the First Donation

HubSpot is designed to start tracking user activity immediately after they convert on a form. Once they volunteer their contact information, the system will start logging every page they visit, the email they open, or the actions they take that are logged by the system.

User Activity View in HubSpot

By default, the system is unable to do this for payment forms. Fortunately, HubSpot’s App Marketplace makes it possible to enhance the platform and improve key features. DepositFix was designed to do just this for payment processing. With it, you can start tracking activity immediately after someone completes a donation form on your website without leaving or having to import data to HubSpot.

The Bottom Line

HubSpot is a powerful tool for marketing automation for nonprofits designed to help you better understand your prospects, engage with them in customized, automated ways, and leverage resources to get more out of your team.

By following these 6 integral marketing automation tips, you can learn how to properly use HubSpot’s marketing automation potential and features to get the most out of your nonprofit marketing campaigns.

Want to learn more about HubSpot for nonprofits? Read our ultimate guide for 2023.

Ready to start
accepting payments
with your HubSpot forms?
Start
a Free Trial