Once you've created an account on Zapier, it's time to experiment with creating a zap! Below, we'll walk you through how to choose a trigger, an action, and create a zap.

First, make sure you are on your Dashboard -> Zaps page. You can always come back to this page by clicking the Zaps menu option on the left-hand side --- look for the lightening bolt icon.

Step One: Name your zap and select your apps

Click on the [+ Create Zap] button to start building!

Name your zap

Notice that the title of your zap is displayed in the top-left corner. At first, it will just say 'Name your zap'. Click on this title and start typing to rename it. You can do this at anytime.

image from zapier website- asking the user to

Select Participate as your first app

In the main box that appears on the screen, you'll see a selection of possible apps to choose from. For this example we'll use "Participate" for our trigger app.

Choose an event trigger

Once you've selected an app, you'll see a list of triggers made available for that app. For our Participate app, you'll see the following triggers (or 'Events') available.

Connect your Participate account

You will be asked to sign into Participate.com to authenticate and connect your Participate.com account to your new Zapier.com account. You'll also be asked for an API key. ​Explore more on how to access your unique API key.

allow zapier to access your Participate account? with blank box

2: Choose a trigger

Select your community

From the dropdown, select which community you'd like to create a zap for.

Test it out

Now that you have your trigger setup, you will need to test it out! Click on the [Test Trigger] button to pull in some sample data.

If everything is setup properly, you will see an example of data that you have access to as a community admin in your selected community. It may look a little confusing at first, but don't worry! We'll show you how you can pull out just the information that you need most!

3: Choose an action

Select an app

Just like you chose an app to trigger your workflow, now it's time to select an app to receive your data! You can explore thousands of applications in the Zapier.com library, but for now, let's look at a few common apps that are easy to setup.

Google Sheets

If you have a Google account, then this is the fastest way to organize and view your data output. If you do not have a Google account, it is free and easy to setup! Google Sheets is commonly used to store, sort and analyze data records as rows in a spreadsheet. You can also create beautiful charts and graphs, or even trigger future zaps from the data you collect in a Google Sheet.


If your organization users Slack for direct messaging, then this is a fun way to show off what you can do to your colleagues! You can also set up a free Slack account, if you'd just like to try it out. Once you have signed up for a Slack account, then viewing your new community member info is as easy as setting up a Slack Channel.

Email by Zapier

Finally, if you don't have access to Google or Slack and just want a quick way to view your incoming data, then Zapier is nice enough to provide a free email helper app to get you started. No account setup is required! Zapier will simply email you the result of your workflow!

To choose an action for your zap, just start typing the name of any app in the library and click on the app icon to add it to your workflow.

Configure your action

Here, you'll choose what you want to happen with your community data.

* * As an example for this article, we will use the Email by Zapier action. Once we've selected this app from the library, we will see that Zapier defaults to 'Send Outbound Email'. There are many other options you might select instead, but this is a good one to test out as you're getting started. * *

Inside of your new Action, click the [Continue] button to proceed --- let's customize some data!

Customize your data

This is where the magic happens! You'll see a list of fields that your Action can handle --- some will be marked as 'required' because, well, they're required! Other fields are optional and will give you more choices on how to format or tailor your data output. For now, we'll focus on the required fields.

PLEASE NOTE: You are now creating real actions that can trigger real world communications to real people! We highly recommend that you only use your email address first since you'll likely want to test your workflow several times, and you don't want to spam your community members!

For the required fields shown above, try the following:

  • To: your personal email address (DO NOT select a community member's email address until fully tested!)

  • Subject: you can type anything here for your email subject line. You can also insert data that was pulled in from Participate.

    • For Example, if you click on the ''Community Name" option in the list that appears the Zap will automatically pull the name of the community into the Subject line of your email!

  • Body (HTML or plain): Here you can craft your email message. HTML formatting will be helpful to you. To insert any of the data pulled in by the Zap, double click and you will bring up the menu "Insert Data..."click on the blue "Show All Options" link at the bottom of the list to see all available data points.

Go ahead and get creative! Click [Continue] when you're feeling good about this step!

Test your workflow

This is it! The big reveal!! You are ready to test your workflow! If you followed the steps above to send an email notification to yourself, then this test will send an actual email. (Or whatever action you have set up, ie: if you choose Google Sheets or Slack, then this test will create a row or post a message.)

You will see an example and below that, you'll see options to [Test & Review] or [Test & Continue]. Click [Test & Review] the first time you test to view the results of your test. Click [Test & Continue] once you are comfortable.

That's it! Now, check your email inbox, Google Sheet or Slack Channel to see your data output! If everything looks good, then you can turn on your Zap!

Your zap will run 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it will send real information to real people, based on how you have configured it! If you're not sure whether you want your zap to run, you can always turn it off and back on at any time!

Participate resources

Here are additional Participate Support Center Articles related to Zapier integrations:

Additional resources

Zapier provides a series of guides to help you get started. Below are some links to tutorials available on the Zapier.com website:

If you have questions about setting up an integration for your community via Zapier, contact our Participate Support Team by clicking on the blue chat icon in the bottom-right corner of any page on the site.

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