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Outreach Emails

Since we’re a nonprofit, sometimes super nice people at big and small companies are willing to donate or discount their goods or services for us.

I just Emailed a company about this very thing.  We’ll see what they say!

If writing a similar Email, this here example might be helpful to you.

 

 

Hey (support lead) and (ceo),
 
I’m writing to you from Agile Learning Centers, we’re a small group of schools where kids can direct themselves and their own learning in a supportive environment using agile tools and practices.

Two years ago we were one school, then two, then five, and now ten.

With everything that we do across the schools and within them, we have a huge focus on creating shareable value so that others can benefit from our work.  Our students asses their own work and share it through keeping blogs instead of getting graded on simple tests.

Over the summer, a number of facilitators collaborated on writing an ALC StarterKit to share what we’ve learned from starting schools and to provide an outline for starting a school as an ALC, if the reader is so inclined.

Since we put the StarterKit up online for free this summer it’s been downloaded over 175 times in 28 countries.

Naturally, having that kind of attention creates a lot of Emails, which is why I’m writing to you.

Would you consider sponsoring us with a license to use Groove?
 
We’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and half our facilitators work as volunteers because of their dedication to the work.  The good people at Slack were nice enough to sponsor us earlier this month, so we’re really excited about the potential of the Groove/Slack integration.
 
Right now we have about 8 people on the back end that would need accounts, and paying for Groove is way out of our current budget, but from all of the other systems we’ve looked at (Zendesk, Salesforce, Insightly, CiviCRM), Groove seems to be the best.
 
Having a solid help desk system would be huge in helping us focus more on work, and less on Email.
 
Thank you for your consideration,
 
Liam Nilsen

Update

10/15/2015

Groove, the team-email software I was reaching out to, didn’t end up sponsoring us with software.  But personally I think that’s because of a company policy, not because of a poorly written outreach email.

2 comments

  1. Rochelle says:

    Great email overall — I agree that I don’t think this would make or break a licensing ask. The background about the strength and growth of the network is particularly solid, and compelling story-telling.

    I would change:
    – The language about Groove being “way out of our budget,” which is a bit strong — though I think it *is* possible to talk about how we’re lean / growing rapidly / are a non-profit in this context
    – Some context around whether they already offer a discounted program for non-profits either as a way to lead in to the question about gifting, or as a follow-up — “If not X, can you do Y?” (i.e. If you don’t have a free version available for non-profits, would you consider offering a $7/month discount?)
    – IDK exactly what the answer is here, but what makes this compelling for them? Can we create some kind of value for them in exchange for the software?

    • Liam says:

      Thanks for the feedback, @rochelle!

      I was thinking about that same question when writing the Email,

      . . . but what makes this compelling for them? Can we create some kind of value for them in exchange for the software?

      I guess I was trying to make it seem like we were a rapidly growing a cool thing. . . Just to support. And that we create a lot of shareable value, so like, so should they.
      Hm.
      It’s hard to say something like “we’re rapidly growing so if we start using your software now for free, it’ll scale into tons of paid users later.” because it’s saying. . . it’s saying “we don’t have any money, but we will have a ton soon!”

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