The Ultimate Guide to Finding New Donors

 
 

Kyle Crawford, Founder, Fundraising Genius

 

 

"I know we need more donors. But I don't know where to find them!"

The process of finding new donors these days is fraught with wasted time and ineffective approaches. 

You deserve better!

You deserve better than manually scanning websites and copying and pasting email addresses. You shouldn't have to have your back against the wall, in need of new donors but without a clear way to get them.  

Get ready! Because this guide is massive! 

This is the best way to find new individual donors, foundation support, and corporate partners.

With the help of some free and super affordable tools, plus the exact steps you need to follow, you can find thousands of likely new donors in under an hour

Obviously, almost anybody can find a large quantity of bad prospects, or even a small number of good ones. What you need is a strong list of targeted prospects who will open your email campaigns.

I'm going to show you step-by-step, exactly how to find the contact info for people you want to become your new donors. And it works so well, you'll literally see their email addresses arrive like magic...

Let's Raise More Money!

In this article, I'm going to show you the exact approach I use to find contact info for a large number of people I want to engage with.  You can use it to find 10 new prospects or 10,000. 

As you know, raising more money really comes down three things:

1. Getting bigger gifts from your donors

2. Retaining your donors longer

3. Getting more donors

I am fascinated by the design and psychology of getting bigger gifts from donors, as well as how to improve retention (#s 1 and 2). However, the process you'll learn in this article is  focused almost exclusively on the third one, Getting more donors

The math just makes sense:

If you can find more prospects of the same caliber in less time, you are going to give yourself a huge advantage in terms of raising more money overall. 

And by learning how to be 10x more efficient in finding new donors, you're going to free up more time to focus on improving retention and increasing gift size. 

In other words, this could be a great end of year campaign for you!

Are You Ready? Let's Get Started!

The technique we're covering here is one I learned from the really smart folks at DocSend. In their version of the strategy, you end up having to pay people to actually find the emails you're looking for.

I wanted you to have a better option - so I created it for you! 

Here's the full list of the tools you'll be using to find your new donors: 

You don't need to worry about downloading any of these yet. I'll tell you below when to get each one, as well as show you how to use use them.

I'll be walking you through the exact steps to follow in order find new donors at scale. This will allow you to find better contacts more consistently, in larger quantities and less time, and for basically no cost at all. 

If you're looking to expand your donor base, this is your ultimate guide to finding new donors.

Ready to see what the future of fundraising looks like? 

Step 1: Finding the Basics 

The building block of this whole donor discovery process comes from knowing just two pieces of information:

1. Organizations where your future donors work

2. The website address of each of those organizations

At this stage, you don't even need to know the names of the individuals you're looking to contact yet. Because I'm going to show you a genius way to figure that out in a minute.

As you know, the process of finding new supporters (whether they're individuals, companies, funders, etc.)  is usually a time-consuming process that involves a lot of Googling. Either you or your staff or your interns set out to manually build a list of potential options, and it takes forever and ends up usually being fairly sparse in the end.

I'm going to show you how to do a better job in 99% less time.

The first thing you need to do is get Scraper for Chrome. This is a free tool that allows you to go to a webpage and extract relevant information with a single click. 

NOTE: Because Scraper for Chrome is an extension for the Chrome internet browser, you need to be sure you're using Chrome when you're doing this. 

Rather than having to think of who might support you and then Googling each of their organizations in order to find their websites, you're going to use the Scraper to find them in just seconds.

Here's how to do it:

Find a directory of organizations that reflects the type of donors you'd like to reach out to. As an example, we're using a Chamber of Commerce member directory below. You could just as easily be looking for arts foundations, technology companies, etc.

Once you find a directory you want to use, simply right click one of the links and click on 'Scrape similar' as shown below. 

This will give you a popup window that now has the organization name and website of all of the groups listed on that page. In this example, we now have basic info on 40+ relevant organizations. Depending on the size of the directory you're using, you could have 500+ orgs in the same amount of time. 

Now that the scraper has found the organization name and domain info for you, you want to take it out of the popup window and send it to a Google Spreadsheet. Scraper makes this easy - just click the 'Export to Google Docs' button (as shown below).

Alright, you're off to a great start! You already have a list of promising organizations and their websites. And it's taken you next to no time to do it. And, as I mentioned, this info is going to be super useful since it's the building block of everything else you're going to be doing to find your ideal future donors. 

Ready to start finding them?

Step 2: Finding Your Ideal Donors 

So we've got organizations but what we're really after are the people who will support your work. How do we find the right people to reach out to without resorting to scanning the 'Staff' page of every company website?

In the past (or maybe currently), you might run some searches for the organization name and various titles. Maybe like Vice President or Program Officer or Chief Diversity Officer. Just like with every other process, I'm going to show you a much better way.

I guarantee you've never seen this technique before!

Your first step is to decide which types of positions at the organizations you're looking to connect with make up your ideal future donors. For our example, it's going to be Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Executive Vice President. Of course, you could just as easily search for other types of positions as well. 

Ok, so you need an efficient way to find the types of people at each org that would be most useful for your fundraising purposes. The way we're going to do that is by setting up a number of searches that scan people's LinkedIn profiles.

I'm going to show you two shortcuts for this:

1. A formula called CONCATENATE that will save you a ton of time

2. A service that will run all of the searches for you for only $5

Ok, so open the spreadsheet you have with the organization names and websites in it.

We're going to put the CONCATENATE formula in cell C2. The gist of this formual is that it will combine whichever values you tell it to.

We're using it to create a search through LinkedIn profiles for people working at each organization who hold any of the positions we listed above (or whichever ones you're using for your donors). The reason we're using LinkedIn searches is because it provides the most up-to-date professional info available online, giving you the highest quality results.


To use this for your specific donor search, simply replace the 'XX's in the formula below with the position titles you are searching for:

=CONCATENATE(A2," site:linkedin.com/in/ (XX OR XX OR XX OR XX)")

Once you have the first formula inputted in cell C2, just click that little blue box in the corner of cell C2 and drag the formula down to the bottom of column C.

You effectively now have a collection of searches that you'd like to run. Basically, you're saying, 'Find me these types of people at every one of these organizations'.


 

Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody do the work for you?


Enter a little program called LinkProspector.

It doesn't look like much, but it's going to run all of your searches for you, organize all of the results, and end up saving you a ton of time.

When you sign up, you'll have to buy a minimum of (I believe) $20 worth of credits. You then use the credits to run reports. 1 report = 4 credits. So, in essence, you can find hundreds or even thousands of potential future donors for $5. 

And it's important to remember: these aren't random fundraising prospect leads generated by a robot somewhere. The people you are searching for are the exact people you would have manually searched for anyways. The difference is that you can do it in a fraction of the time.

I'll show you how!

Once you've signed up, you're going to want to run a Report. And it's easiest if you choose 'Custom Report.' 

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 1.02.16 PM.png

Then go back to your spreadsheet and copy all of the values in Column C. You're going to paste these into the research phrases box on Link Prospector like this:

And submit the report. Link Prospector will run all of your searches for you and then email you when your report is ready. You'll go back into Link Prospector and choose Export Paths. This will give you a .csv file to download. 

Upload your .csv file to Google Sheets so you have a spreadsheet that looks like this:

Sample spreadsheet from this DocSend article.

Sample spreadsheet from this DocSend article.

So this is great!

Depending on how many organizations you originally scraped, as well as how many positions you searched for and a few other variables, you should have hundreds or thousands of potential donors listed. These are individuals you would've manually searched for, but instead were able to leverage your skills and some simple tools in order to find the information much faster. 


You're sitting on fundraising gold!


All we need to do now is clean it up a little bit in order to make it truly work for you. 

Get ready, because I'm about to give you the key to turning this list of names and bios into the real, usable emails of your future donors.

Step 3: Cleaning Your Contacts 

At this point, you have a bunch of info but it's still a little overwhelming and messy. And, to be honest, some of the columns on your spreadsheet aren't actually useful to you at all.

So this is where things could get really complicated. This is the point when people decide to quit and just pay other people to take care of the rest of the process for them.

We want you to succeed!

So I'm giving you the custom spreadsheet I built with everything you're going to need already included in it. It's formatted for immediate use, including all of the formulas necessary. Just click the button below to open it up, then make a copy for yourself to use privately.

Once you have the spreadsheet, all that's left to do is copy and paste a few things, run a couple simple add-ons, and you'll be all set!

Before we go on though, I want to lay out what you have and have accomplished so far, and what you're going to need to do next in order to get the contact info for your future donors. 

Here's where we're at:

  • You scraped a directory to create a spreadsheet with Org Names and Websites of your future donors
  • You used a CONCATENATE formula to rapidly develop a bunch of search terms that you input into Link Prospector and produced a huge spreadsheet with the LinkedIn info of your future donors
  • You just downloaded a new spreadsheet that contains a bunch of formulas but none of your prospect info (yet)

Here's what you'll need to do still:

  • Match each person with their current organization
  • Find the website where each person's email should be found
  • Find people's email addresses

So there's really just three more things to do. The first two will happen automatically once you paste some info into your new spreadsheet. And for the last one, we'll use another add-on that'll work like magic. 

Let's keep moving and get you those contacts!!

Go back to your original spreadsheet, the one with the org names and websites you got after using the Scraper. Highlight all of the org names and their websites, and copy.

Now go into the spreadsheet you just downloaded and right click in cell C1. You're going to click to paste -> transpose (as shown below). This changes your vertical list to a horizontal list. 

Now go back to your spreadsheet with all of the info from your Link Prospector report. 

First, hit CTRL-F (or COMMAND-F on Mac) to pull up a FIND window. Click the three dots. What you're going to do now is clean up the Name column. You'll notice that every name is followed by ' | LinkedIn'. Plus, people's names are all in one cell, which we'll fix next. 

First copy and paste this ->   | LinkedIn into the Find box. Leave the Replace With box empty, then click Replace All. 

Great! That should've cleaned up the column so the cells only contain names. Now we just need to split the parts of the full names into separate cells. This allows our email finder to work successfully.

The way we'll split the name cell into separate cells is by using a super easy (and free) add-on called Split Names. Click the link and add it.

Now go back to the spreadsheet you were just working in and Refresh the page. Then click Add-Ons -> Split Names -> Start. This window should pop up:

Click the 'Split' button and watch as the add-on does all the work for you, creating separate columns for each part of a name and populating them appropriately.

Once that's finished, you're going to want to highlight and copy all of the First Names. Then go into the spreadsheet you downloaded up above and paste the first names starting in cell A3. Go back and do the same with the Last Names and paste them starting in B3.

NOTE: Due to formulas and space restrictions, you can copy and paste up to 1,000 names into the custom spreadsheet. If you have more than 1,000, just make a copy of the sheet and repeat the process.

Now go back and do it for the Description column, pasting these beginning in cell E3.

Once you finish pasting the First Names, Last Names, and Descriptions, the spreadsheet is going to need to work for a little while. You'll notice a grey bar in the upper right hand corner showing that the program is 'working.'

This will take a few minutes because basically everything that needs to happen next is automatically happening. Thousands of formulas are running simultaneously in order to get everything cleaned up for you.

While you're waiting, you should see how you can get FREE ACCESS to the complete Fundraising Genius course. Just add your email below and I'll send you the details. (Bonus Points if you try out the game!)

 

 

Alright...since there's so much happening in the spreadsheet, there's actually enough time for you to sign up and for me to tell you what's happening right now in the spreadsheet.

In all of the cells beneath the org names and websites from Column F onward, formulas are checking to see if each organization's name appears in the bio of the person in that row. So if the org name is found in the relevant bio, then the formula returns that organization's website in the cell. 

Then in Column C, we're using the CONCATENATE function again in order to pull the associated website for each person into a single column, because it's going to make our next step much easier. 

When the spreadsheet is done working, most or all of column C should be populated with websites. And that means we're ready for the good stuff!

Step 4: Find Any Email You Want  

Once everything is done running (which you'll know because that grey 'working' bar will go away), you're going to highlight and copy all of the values from columns A-C. Then open the other sheet in the file, at the bottom of your screen, which is labeled Emails. 

In the Emails sheet, right click in cell A2 -> Paste -> Paste Values Only.

Fundraising Email
NOTE: You must paste values only. Because formulas are involved, using a normal paste will not work appropriately here.

You should now have a spreadsheet with all of the names of your prospects, plus the websites of the orgs where they work. I know it took a little bit of work to get here, but this is incredibly powerful!

And it only gets better!

I'm now going to show you the final step where you get the emails of your future donors to basically magically appear :)

I say 'magically' because this step is so easy it's almost baffling. You'll need to get the Email Hunter Add-on. This is an amazing free add-on for Google Sheets that allows you to find emails from your spreadsheet just by knowing the first name, last name, and domain name.  Get the add-on, then refresh the spreadsheet page, just like you did with the Split Names add-on.

Once the page is reloaded, go to Add-Ons -> Email Hunter -> Open. This window will pop up on the right side of your screen:

Delete the 'D' because you're not going to have organization name listed (which is fine because you have the website listed in column C). Then click Find Email Addresses and watch as they begin to magically appear

Two quick side notes about Email Hunter:

1.  The first time you run this, you may have to input your Email Hunter API Key. This is a unique identifier that lets the program work. Just follow their easy directions - this shouldn't take more than a couple minutes and then you'll never have to do it again.
2.  Email Hunter will allow you to return 150 emails for free. If you want to get more, it costs a little money. I recommend upgrading  when you hit your limit because it is well worth the money, but it's definitely up to you. 

You Deserve the Best!

Fundraising is hard

You're facing changing donor needs, new technologies, increased demand for services, and so much more. You're successful but swamped.

I wanted to lay out this entire process for you because it shows you how to build lists of donor prospects at scale. You and your staff have better things to do than search Google for email addresses. You need to be spending your time with donors, not on a laptop for hours.


Spend your time doing your most valuable work. 


You now have a step-by-step guide to expedite your donor search process, giving you more time to build relationships and engage donors in a meaningful way with your organization.

In a world changing so fast, and social impact tied so intimately to your fundraising success, there's no need to settle for slow, dated approaches. 

Hopefully, this guide helps all of us do better work.

We'll Help You Raise More Money

We've built a fundraising course for the next 10 years.

You'll learn both innovative and timeless techniques, and be given everything you need to begin applying them immediately. Plus, we're hooking everyone up with some amazing exclusive invites and discounts. 

If you're looking to raise more money by the end of this year, we'd love to have you. Sign up below for more info. (Plus, you can see if you can win our game!)