How Donatio Makes HubSpot Work for Nonprofits and Charities

How Donatio Makes HubSpot Work for Nonprofits and Charities

How the Donatio App Merged Donor Platforms for Road Dogs & Rescue.


Road Dogs & Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that rehabs and rescues bulldogs. The Los Angeles-based organization serves the Southern California area and relies on donations to provide dogs with medical care, training, and behavior modification. It also raises funds to spread awareness about volunteer, sponsorship, and adoption programs. Road Dogs & Rescue generated $1.06 million in revenue in the 2019 fiscal year and has over 310,000 followers on Instagram and over 110,000 on Facebook.

The Objective


Photo credit

Despite its remarkable achievements, Road Dog & Rescue struggled to track donor engagement across multiple platforms. 

It takes a village to rescue a dog, and Road Dogs & Rescue is fortunate to be surrounded by a community where members play multiple roles: donor, volunteer, adoptee, event organizer, and so on. It was important for Learners to take these relationships into account to nurture them. However, that required tracking various data points through its funding lifecycle. 

Road Dogs & Rescue need a well-integrated, cohesive single source of truth.

The Challenge

Road Dogs & Rescues uses multiple fundraising platforms, such as Classy, Kindful, Facebook, Instagram, Patreon, and Little Green Light. So many platforms can make it challenging to track donor information. In addition, the organization uses Stripe and Paypal directly or indirectly through fundraising platforms as a payment gateway. 

Like other nonprofits, Road Dogs & Rescue experienced several operational challenges during various fundraising campaigns: 

  • The organization's biggest challenge was donor information spread across these different channels, making it difficult to generate a 360-degree overview of donation operations and campaign attribution reporting.
  • Because data existed in disparate apps, it took a lot of work to plan new fundraising initiatives, identify high-value donors, and carry out other tasks that would benefit the organization.
  • Road Dogs & Rescue lacked a single source of truth for all the donor information required to plan, execute, and budget for campaigns.
  • In short, Road Dogs & Rescue just wanted to consolidate donor information from all its platforms. The nonprofit decided to use HubSpot as its CRM but soon discovered it did not have all the features required by a donor management platform.

Solution To Those Challenges

Learners' quickly got to the drawing board with an architecture that placed HubSpot as the central platform for managing the donor lifecycle. Then the company built out each component that turned into Donatio:


The first step was to get donor data from all the platforms using their APIs. Each platform has its own unique data model, so Donatio contains a layer where data is pulled from platforms such as Classy and Kindful and synchronized with HubSpot contacts. The integration layer also includes logic to ensure contacts are created and updated correctly without creating any duplicates.

Data Normalization

HubSpot needs accurate and up-to-date information for the solution to work. That is why data normalization was another key component for Donatio. This involved matching donor profiles across platforms, using only the most up-to-date data point, and creating a timeline of donation activity from multiple platforms. For example, if Samantha had donated to different campaigns running on Classy, Kindful, and Facebook, HubSpot should be able to connect Samantha's donations on all these platforms. 

In other words, donor information — such as email addresses, names, donation preferences, donation history, etc. — would be consistent on all the platforms.

HubSpot payments

It was important to add Stripe to the mix after realizing a lot of donations came through the payment processing solution. Classy and Kindful were both using Stripe as their payment gateway, but Stripe would only show lump sum amounts coming from these platforms instead of individual donor transactions. This was a big challenge!

HubSpot Payments came to the rescue! It not just solved the problem but made it possible to replace Classy and Kindful to orchestrate funding campaigns directly out of HubSpot. This included out-of-the-box recurring and one-time donation functionality — all embedded within beautiful landing pages built on HubSpot. Voilà!

The staff at Road Dogs & Rescue can now see more details from various donation sources and donors. All the individual donations now show up as Deals with a pipeline assigned to each platform (ex: Kindful, Classy, etc.). Before this, the nonprofit was getting consolidated amounts transferred every month into their bank account with no transactional data in HubSpot, let alone the visibility of how much each donor was sending.

The magic of associations

Learners' engineering team built the association logic directly in Donatio so all donations were correctly matched to donors. Multiple transactions coming in from the same donors from different platforms made it a little tricky, but this process was a lot of fun for the Learners' team! 

With all the complexity now packaged in Donatio, Road Dogs & Rescue can now fundraise without manually trying to reconcile donation transactions and engage with them in a meaningful and personalized way.

Fundraising dashboards

Learners set up various reports and dashboards for Road Dogs & Rescue. They customized the reports for the specific use cases and analytics the nonprofit was interested in. It showed campaign analytics of its fundraising campaigns and donation activity as Deals Activity in HubSpot. Donatio had rescued all the disparate donor data and brought it to HubSpot to serve as the single source of truth.


photo-1518458028785-8fbcd101ebb9Group of business people celebrating Donatio

Photo credit

Donatio works natively with HubSpot and benefits nonprofit operations. The app reduced manual administrative work by 25% for Road Dogs & Rescue, allowing the nonprofit to spend more time rescuing dogs than entering data. The nonprofit also has visibility into its donors that it did not have before.

This 360-degree view of donor and donation activity has allowed Road Dogs & Rescue to centralize data for better decision-making and campaign management. The organization can now work out of HubSpot to effectively manage donations and day-to-day operations. Instead of logging into multiple platforms, Road Dogs & Rescue can rely on just one. 

Road Dogs & Rescue is now considering consolidating all their donor management platforms into HubSpot. That includes retiring other platforms and using HubSpot Payments to collect donations directly from fundraising campaigns. In other words, HubSpot can now completely replace Classy and Kindful and become the ultimate Donor CRM.

After seeing the benefits of HubSpot, the team at Road Dogs & Rescue started coming up with innovative ideas to streamline operations better and get more value out of HubSpot. Now that the fantastic team at Road Dogs & Rescue had all become learners themselves, it was a mission accomplished for Learners.

Donatio was a solution created for Road Dogs & Rescue but has found a home with other nonprofits and charities looking to solve similar problems. 

Are you ready to Learn? Book a call today to align your DonationOps to your cause, market, and customers.