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How to Instantly Find the Email Address of a Potential Donor

WebsitesFundraisingDatabases & Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)Email

By: Maher Arar, CEO of CauseSquare.

Email marketing is still one of the most cost effective ways of reaching out to potential donors of all ages (except Gen Z).

In fact, a dollar spent on email marketing returns an average of $40 in donation revenue. And effective email marketing is responsible for one-third of all nonprofits' total online revenue.

Now, as a fundraising manager, how do you reach out to a potential donor whose email address is not in your organization’s database?

This scenario frequently occurs when you are about to cold-email a wealthy donor who is well known for their philanthropic contributions.

There are a few web apps out there that will help you find email addresses from anywhere on the web. At my organization, CauseSquare, we have done the heavy lifting for you by picking one that is powerful, easy to use, and affordable - and free for up to 150 email search queries per month!

The winner is Email Hunter.

To get started, you can sign up on their website (no credit card required). Once you sign up you be will taken to the dashboard (see below).

In the search box, type the domain name of the company or organization where your person of interest works (in our example, we are looking to find the email address of Bill Gates who works at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

You will then be presented with all the email addresses that belong to this organization’s domain. In 90% of the cases, the email address of that specific person will be listed and will be easily recognizable.

In our case, Bill Gates’ email address is the third one on the list. Email Hunter extracts this email address from multiple sources, and you can expand the sources menu if you want to understand where Email Hunter obtained the email address from.


An easier way to use Email Hunter is through the Email Hunter Chrome extension, which only works with the Google Chrome web browser (which I strongly recommend nonprofits adopt). You can download and install the Chrome web browser here. Follow the link and click on the Download Chrome button and follow the instructions. Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do just that.

When you have the Email Hunter Chrome extension installed, you no longer need to visit the dashboard each time you are searching for an email address. You simply visit the organization’s domain and click on the Email Hunter icon located at the top right corner of the browser.

If you have never downloaded and installed a Chrome extension here's how you do it: click on the customization icon located at the top right corner of Chrome browser (looks like three horizontal bars). A menu will appear; click on Settings and then click on Extensions located at the top left corner. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Get more extensions. In the search box type 'Email Hunter'. The first item at the top is the one you are looking for. To finish the installation, click on the Add to Chrome button. You now have the Email Hunter extension installed.


Once you have the Chrome extension installed, an even more efficient way to obtain a specific email address is to visit the target person’s LinkedIn web page as shown below.

An orange email button will appear next to this person’s profile giving you the option to find this person’s email address. You simply click on it and the email address of that person appears in the little box as shown below.

Also note the confidence level (in this case it’s 95%), which gauges how certain this email address is still active. In the bottom right corner you have a count of how many search queries you have used for the month. In this case, I have so far used 13 queries and I still have 137 remaining.

Not bad for a free service, eh?

 About the Author

 Maher Arar is the CEO of CauseSquare, a  Canadian startup that provides nonprofits and  community organizers a gamified mobile platform  to make it easier for them to engage  Millennials in their causes. He has a PhD in mobile communications and frequently writes  about how nonprofits can leverage mobile technology to their advantage. He is the  recipient of many prestigious awards including the Time 100, Time Magazine 100 most  influential people in the world.