Workflows allow NeonCRM users to automate certain common tasks such as data entry or maintenance, email communications, activity and/or prospect management, and more. Workflows can be based on trigger events like the creation of an account or transaction, on certain date markers, or on regularly scheduled database searches.
Any NeonCRM user with System Administrator permissions can use Workflows.
If you are a System Administrator and would like to give a custom user group Workflow permissions, you can find them in the Advanced Settings of the Create/Edit User Groups/Permissions feature.
If you have permission to work with Workflows, you will find them under Tools > Workflows.
When you first access this feature, you will see a Welcome message with a short tutorial. You can view it, skip it for now, or hide it forever by clicking "Please don't show this again" in the top right corner.
You will then be taken to the main Workflows page and can start setting up your Workflows.
Creating a new workflow in NeonCRM consists of three main steps:
- Set the trigger that will cause the workflow to start running;
- Choose the targets for your workflow - which accounts or records will be affected?
- Determine the resultant action(s) - what will happen to the targets when the workflow is triggered?
To get started, go to your main Workflows page and click New Workflow.
You can then give your Workflow a name and a short description explaining what it does.
Next, specify what will trigger your workflow to start running.
Your options fall into three main categories:
An Event is the creation of a single record in your database: an account, a donation, a pledge, an event registration, a membership, a volunteer application, a fundraising page, or a recurring donation schedule.
Selecting one of these will cause your Workflow to start running as soon as the specified event is successfully completed.
This type of trigger can be either of the following:
- One of a selection of account dates, such as the constituent's birthday, their membership expiration date or the date a pledge is due; or
- The start of an event, campaign or volunteer project, the close date set for event registrations, or a fixed date on the calendar.
With this type of trigger, you will also be required to specify the relation of your trigger date to the date specified: whether it should be the same day, or some number of days before or afterward.
This type of trigger will run periodic searches of your database to find newly qualified accounts to add to your Workflow. With this type of trigger, you are essentially choosing the target accounts in this first step; the "Targets" step will be fixed once you set your condition and you'll be skipped directly to Step 3. See below for an example.
In this step, you will choose the target group of records that will be affected by your new Workflow.
You may be offered an option to add all records in your Trigger category to your Workflow. Or, you can filter the list of qualifying records by a select list of criteria.
Specify your criteria (if any) and click Select Targets.
Now, you will need to add at least one Action to the Workflow. This will tell your Workflow what to do when the trigger is activated.
The list of available actions may vary depending on the type of trigger and/or target group you've chosen. Choose the action that fits what you'd like to happen when the workflow is triggered.
In this case, we've chosen to send a personal thank you email from the ED for any donation of $100 or more, to be sent in addition to the standard acknowledgment.
Once you've added at least one Action to your Workflow, you will then be able to test, save and activate it.
Once your workflow is saved, you can now click the Settings button to add Start and End Dates for the workflow to run.
You can test your Workflow before you activate it by clicking the Test Workflow button at the top of the Workflow detail page.
You will then be asked to specify the account on which you wish to test this workflow. We recommend that you use a designated testing account for this purpose.
If necessary, you will also be asked to choose the specific record on the account that will be used as the trigger and/or target for this test.
Notice that the record that I've selected to test this "$100+ Donation" Workflow does not fit the set requirements. That's okay; the Workflow will be immediately triggered and all actions executed regardless of target criteria or time delays. You do not have to add new records to your system just for the purpose of testing your Workflows.
Once you are satisfied that your Workflow is running as intended, you can toggle the status of the Workflow to Active to make it live.
Each Workflow you create will appear on the main Workflows list page along with the number of Completed Workflows (accounts that have gone through every action of the workflow successfully) and Workflows in progress (accounts with Workflow actions still to complete.) You can also view the Status (Active vs. Inactive) of each Workflow, any valid Date Range specified for the workflow, and a list of available Actions including the ability to Deactivate, Clone, or Delete the Workflow.
If you open the detail page for a specific Workflow, you will see a number of options, including the ability to view the Workflow Log.
The Log will show a summary and list of all accounts still within the Workflow or that had completed all Workflow actions successfully, as well as an itemized list of all pending and completed actions related to that Workflow.
You can also send more tests of your Workflow, adjust the settings, or make a clone of your Workflow if you'd like to create a new Workflow similar to the existing one without having to start over.
Workflows are available as a section to view on your constituents' Account Detail Pages. If you have permission to view Workflows but cannot see this section, look for it in the Show/Hide Sections feature of your Page Settings.
In this section, you can see all of the Workflows that have been associated with this account. You can also manually add an account to a Workflow without having to force it to fit your preset Trigger or Target group criteria.
Your Workflows can be more complex than just a simple reaction to a trigger. Below are some ways to create more sophisticated Workflows.
You can create a Workflow that performs more than one action based on the same trigger and conditions. Actions can be added to your Workflow by clicking the Add Action button at the bottom of your Actions list...
...or by clicking the plus sign button in between existing actions
Select the new action to be added to your Workflow...
...add any settings or criteria as necessary, and save it. All actions in the list will now be applied to the target records when the Workflow is triggered.
Time Delays are a type of action that just places a buffer of time between the trigger and an action, or between one action and another.
For example, we have created a Workflow in which a donation of $100 or more will perform 2 actions: marking the account as a Favorite for a particular system user, and sending a personal thank you email from the ED. However, the personal thank you is meant to be in addition to the standard email acknowledgment that the donor would have received when the transaction was processed. For maximum impact (and so the donor doesn't discard one of these emails as a duplicate), we've decided to delay the personal thank you by 2 days.
To do this, we click the Plus sign button in between the "Mark as Favorite" action (which we do want to happen immediately) and the "Send External Email" action:
We then choose "Add Time Delay" as our action:
We then set a delay of 2 days after which the remaining Workflow actions should continue:
Now, our Workflow looks like this:
This type of action allows you to specify one of two possible actions to perform at this step of the Workflow, depending on the answer to a Yes or No question.
In this example, we've created a Workflow specifically targeted at Organization registrants for our upcoming Symposium event. Based on how many people each organization is sending to our Symposium (i.e., the total amount of their registration,) we will create one of two different types of Prospect on that organization's account.
To do this, we add an If/Then Branch action to the Workflow:
We will then be asked to specify the criteria by which we determine which type of prospect is created on each target record. In this case, we have set a threshold of $2500 for the total event registration amount.
When we add it, the If/Then action will split the action sequence into two possible branches: one if the answer to the If/Then question is Yes, and another if it is No.
We can then tell the Workflow what unique action to perform under either circumstance.
What happens when you need to stop a workflow in progress?
If you need to stop all future actions for all targets in a current workflow, go to the Workflows main page and deactivate it, as shown below.
If you need to deactivate a workflow on a specific account, you can do so either from the Workflow Log page of that particular Workflow...
...or from the Workflows section of the account's detail page: