The best marketing automation platforms for charities

12 Days of Best Of: We take a look at some of the marketing automation platforms available to charities

Chloe Green | 29th Nov 19
best marketing automation platforms for charities

As we gear up for the festive season, we are celebrating the 12 days of Christmas, as well as the best in digital achievement, with 12 days of ‘Best Of’ lists. Covering everything related to the charity tech sector, join us every day for new ‘Best Of’ lists.

For charity marketing teams facing tight budgets and limited manpower, marketing automation tools take the hard work out of carrying out marketing activities. They’ve become an essential tool for charities to communicate with each supporter at scale and ensure the right message gets to the right person at the right time.

Before we dive into our top five marketing automation platforms for charities, be aware that any tool you bring onboard needs to work with your current CRM or donor management system, so always check it has the integrations you need.

Also bear in mind that most marketing automation systems charge according to the number of contacts in your database, and you often pay more on top of that for different levels of support, setup and migration.

Below are just a few of the most effective and budget-friendly marketing automation platforms for charities, ranging from basic to all-singing-all-dancing solutions.



What it’s good for

The free plan from MailChimp gives small organisations the basics of email marketing, so you can get started sending automated emails and reporting on their performance.

What it costs

The Free plan includes up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month, with a daily send limit of 2,000.

The next plan up, the Essentials plan, is $9.99 a month – you can store up to 50,000 contacts and your monthly send limit is 10 times your maximum contact count. You also get many more features including A/B testing and access to more email templates.


>Read More: New Year’s resolutions for great charity emails


Charity Digital Mail

What it’s good for

Charity Digital Mail is designed to give charities affordable access to Dotdigital’s enterprise-level email automation platform, with specialist setup, training and support. Their team does the setup for you, including any bespoke email templates for your charity.

What it costs

Pricing is designed to be realistic for growing charities and can be scaled up and down depending on the scale and frequency of your campaigns. One of the benefits is that you can buy annual credits in bulk and then flexibly use them as and when you need them. Contact them for a quote.


Autopilot HQ

What it’s good for

Autopilot HQ is great for growing small-medium sized organisations looking to get to grips with automating most aspects of their digital marketing, but not yet ready to take the plunge on some of the more complex solutions out there. Create personalised customer journey maps and analyse website visitor data.

What it costs

Pricing plans are based on the size of your contact database, starting at $1 a month for up to 500 contacts. What you pay extra for is the support package, which is $99 for priority support and any training and setup.


>Read More: Five email automation mistakes and how to avoid them



What it’s good for

NFP365 from m-hance is a fully-fledged marketing automation and CRM solution in one, build specifically for charities. Built on Microsoft Dynamics 365, it’s designed to be familiar, intuitive and easy to use and integrates with Office 365. Report and track ROI, manage volunteers and donations, monitor social media and automate activity all from one system.

What it costs

Contact them for a bespoke quote.


Salesforce Pardot

What it’s good for

If your organisation has already invested in Salesforce CRM and is more advanced in its understanding of marketing automation, Salesforce Pardot may be a good choice. It’s one of the most powerful marketing analytics suites out there, with in-depth prospect tracking, lead nurturing, scoring and ROI reporting. Read more about what it can do for charities here.

What it costs

Pardot’s plans start from £1,000 a month up to £3,200 a month for full customisation.


>Read More: The ultimate guide to improving charity email campaigns