Custom Workflows for Operations & Process Automation


Awesome super powers for web forms. Essentially, it’s the ability to customize the set of actions initiated by a form submission. For example: Where is the data sent and how is it processed? What automated emails get sent and to whom? You might also include steps requesting someone’s approval or feedback, or even make special HTTP requests to an API endpoint and configure subsequent steps based on an HTTP response or incoming webhook.

Even if you have no idea what I’m talking about, try to stick with me here. This feature is definitely important enough to get its own page.

You might need to create forms with very specific purposes, requiring a series of actions beyond just adding the submitted data to a database (like a simple email sign-up). It’s maybe a little hard to explain because this could be literally anything. I’ll describe a couple examples, but please feel free to let your imagination run wild with your own potential use cases.

Consider this landing page that invites supporters to request a campaign yard sign—

As usual, the data gets sent to the CRM to make sure they’re subscribed to the email list. If the email address already exists, it might update the other data like phone & address. If not, it adds all of the data as a new record. Perhaps it also adds them to a “Yard Sign” segment and sends a confirmation email. Nothing new and remarkable yet.

But the purpose of this form is to distribute yard signs, not email list signups. So, we need to initiate a process that helps the campaign get that specific task done as efficiently as possible. For a smaller campaign, maybe that means just putting all the data into a Google Sheet or an Airtable base, and sending someone an email or Slack notification.

For larger campaigns, the request might need to be confirmed and delegated to different organizers based on location. So, with a user input step in the workflow, the data can be properly routed into separate lists. Taking that a step further, we could even automate this step by writing a script that uses the Google Geocoding and Distance Matrix APIs to calculate the distance to each field office or local organizer in a state, and then assign the option with the shortest distance.

To create a dynamic map displaying all of the yard signs, we’d configure a step that sends all the data from completed workflows into a central database or spreadsheet connected to some mapping software’s API, so that the team can visualize the exactly where the yard signs have been distributed.

Finally, we could configure a step that waits for an incoming webhook, perhaps from Airtable— When the organizer marks the entry as “delivered,” that would trigger another email to let the supporter know they’ve received their yard sign. This task could also be competed in the website’s admin dashboard. Of course, that extra email provides a great opportunity to make another specific fundraising ask!

Mera Kathryn Corlett
Mera Kathryn Corlett

In addition to the workflows that campaigns could build for public-facing landing pages, the organization could also use this feature for internal processes. Special forms with a specific operational function would only be accessible to users with certain admin user roles. A campaign would be able to streamline requests like expense reimbursements with a form that includes a file upload field to submit digitized receipts. Or, you might need an easy way for interns to document their hours with a form that sends the entry to their supervisor for approval. Once reviewed and approved, that data gets sent on to an Airtable base, or any other kind of software or spreadsheet for later cumulative reporting.

These restricted-access forms on the website provide staff, volunteers, etc. with a way to automate internal processes, making otherwise tedious tasks quick and easy to complete.


1st-party data is what you make of it. It’s not enough to just collect a list of email addresses and phone numbers, only to bombard them with impersonal fundraising messages. Custom workflows can enable the campaign to diverge from that old formula and try new approaches to engaging their audience.

Also, the ability to automate certain processes helps campaign personnel operate more efficiently, saving a lot of time and unnecessary stress.

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