Fundraise Smarter

The Ultimate Tool for Nailing Your Donor Outreach Email (15-Min Hack)

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Apr 6, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Crystal for Fundraisers

Time for another installment of our “How to Wow a Donor in 15-Minutes” series. First, a little clarification: in giving these tips, we aren’t suggesting a strong donor relationship can be built in 15-minutes. Rather, we’re giving you easy, repeatable tasks that you can do every day in 15-minute sprints to improve your relationships with your donors.

Our first installment in this series discussed how to reach out to donors with valuable content, rather than boring “touching base” emails.

In the second installment, we explored how to go about finding a major gift prospect’s email.

Today, we’re looking at a jaw-droppingly cool tool that will help you nail that first outreach email.

A First Date Cheat Sheet

Last week, a LinkedIn reader who read the last installment in this series compared donor relations to dating. It takes time to build trust and find out what each party wants out of the relationship before you go straight to popping the big question.

I couldn’t agree more.

But imagine if you had a cheat sheet that made that first date a whole lot easier and less awkward. What if you had a sheet that told you how to talk to that date: what they like, what they respond to, what annoys them, and what to expect from them.

How great would that be?!

Enter Crystal

Reaching out to a new major gift prospect for the first time is a lot like asking someone on a date. They might be interested, but they’re probably also pretty skeptical. You’ve got some things in common, but how do you communicate that effectively? You don’t know how they communicate, and you’re terrified of putting your foot in your mouth.

And that’s why a tool like Crystal is a major gift fundraisers best friend.

Crystal is an impressive little tool that gives you an estimate of a person’s personality and communication preferences based on their online presence and profile.

If that sounds a little creepy, don’t worry about it too much. Crystal uses publicly available data from social networks that people willingly share themselves. My guess is they tie these posts to personality traits associated with tests like the Myers Briggs Test to build a set of guidelines for communications.

It even gives you a rating of how confident Crystal is in their recommendations for a person! In general, the more active a person is on social networks, the more accurate the recommendations tend to be.

Here at the WeDidIt offices, we had a pretty good time looking each other up and reading the recommendations. To be honest, they were nearly spot on for every single one of us.

In fact, I’ll be brave and share the report it compiled for me.

Crystal Knows

When you look yourself up on Crystal, you get a whole list of statements that will make you blush for a bunch of different reasons. Looking at my list, I was a bit flattered by the top headline. Then I saw the statements like “Don’t get frustrated if he is a few minutes late.”

My wife will definitely back that statement up.

Overall though, the information is impressively accurate.

Crystal as a Fundraising Tool

When doing a cold outreach to a potential major gift prospect, the last thing you want to do is risk sending them a message that doesn’t jive with their particular personality and communication type. But if you’ve never met this person before, it’s nearly impossible to know this information.

Crystal allows you to tailor your email to a person without having met them. It’s a scouting report that let’s you communicate with a person like you’ve known them for years.

Exactly the kind of tool every modern fundraiser needs in their toolkit.

What tools do you use to fundraiser better? Let us know in the comments!

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Topics: Fundraising, Major Gifts

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