17 useful productivity hacks for charities using IFTTT

Do you find your day dictated by incoming emails and calls while checking your Twitter feed for notifications, rather than carving out time to get on with tasks like analytics and reporting?

The sheer speed with which new digital communications tools are developing and the expectation that charities are present on many online platforms means it's more important than ever for charity digital marketers to manage their workflow effectively and proactively.

One of our favourite tools for keeping all those reactive working habits in check is If This Then That (IFTTT). IFTTT links up the channels we are all familiar with (81 to be precise, but this number is increasing all the time) such as Facebook, Google Drive and Dropbox with recipes, triggers, ingredients and actions.

A common recipe might be ‘Save all photos shared from my Instagram account to Dropbox’. In this case, the trigger is that a photo is shared from a specific Instagram account, and the action is saving it to a Dropbox account. Ingredients are any other information used in the recipe, like an email subject or sender’s address.

IFTTT is free to use, and can save time in a variety of different areas of work. Here are 17 recipes for those working for charities:


1. Save user-generated photos from fundraising events or conferences

This recipe saves photos tagged on Instagram in your Dropbox account so you never miss out on seeing the perspectives of your supporters.

2. Tell your Facebook followers about events you’re taking part in

Create a Google calendar for events you want publicising, and then use this recipe to have the event, location and start time published on your Facebook Company Page 15 minutes before the event starts.


3. Share interesting resources with your colleagues

This recipe converts articles you favourite in Pocket to a PDF, and then adds to a specified notebook in Evernote.

4. Create a meeting notes document for every new meeting in your calendar

This recipe starts a new document in Evernote, for your comments to be added to prior to a meeting and minutes to be written in once the meeting has started.

5. Be alerted whenever VIPs email you

Using Push & Gmail, this recipe will send you a notification when a pre-selected person emails you. Great if you’re at a conference but waiting for an important email, or just have a lot of emails to get through!

6. Send important documents to your Kindle to read while travelling

This recipe converts documents added to a folder in your Dropbox to a PDF and then sends to your Kindle after syncing. No more excuses for not making the most of your commute!



7. Get a daily email reporting on your Google Adwords clicks and keywords

This recipe emails you performance data from your Google Adwords account. (By the way, charities can get up to £6,200 worth of free ads a month so it’s worth applying).

8. Keep track of your payments

Every time you get a new email with ‘receipt’ or ‘order’ in the subject title, this recipe adds it to a spreadsheet. This could be used to keep track of donations.

9. Save correspondence with major donors

Using this recipe, you can set up tags so that when you tag an email from a specific donor it is automatically added as a new row in a spreadsheet.

10. Keep track of your mileage

Every time you stop, emailing your mileage and location will add it to a spreadsheet, making claiming expenses easier.

Social Media


11. Measure the success of a social media campaign by saving all related tweets

If you want to keep on top of a campaign you’re running, this recipe will save all the tweets using a specific hashtag to a spreadsheet.

12. Schedule posting images to Facebook from Google Calendar

Integrating Google Calendar with Facebook using this recipe will post images directly to your Facebook Company Feed at scheduled times.

13. Upload your latest Instagram photos to Flickr

Want to make sure your Flickr account is regularly updated? This recipe will do it automatically.

14, Send a tweet to Facebook by tagging #fb

If there’s something specific you want to share across your Facebook and Twitter accounts, this will take care of it.

15. Automatically tweet when you publish a new blog post

When a new blog post is published this recipe ensures that its shared straight away on your Twitter feed.

16. Send Instagram photos to Buffer

Photos are great to share on Twitter and Facebook, but it can be a hassle to download and upload them again. This recipe takes away that middle step.

17. Post your new stories on Storify direct to Facebook

We love Storify. To make sure all the stories you create are shared on Facebook, use this recipe.


If you use any other recipes that charities could benefit from, then share them in the comments section below.

For more tips on social media tools see these posts:

11 March 2014
Mary Mitchell