Asking for support of a foundation requires a great deal of thought. Research can help uncover facts about the foundation that can be extremely helpful when preparing a case for support. That includes interests, past giving history and a mesh with the organization’s mission and the foundation’s desire to help.
Yes, preparation is essential, but going through a meeting with foundation representatives in a robotic or trancelike state is not the best way to secure financial backing.
Speaking during the recent Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Fundraising Conference, Rebecca Lake of World Wildlife Fund-USA and Rebecca Girvin-Argon of James Madison’s Montpelier said that actions taken during a meeting could pay off in a big way.
They suggested taking copious notes during a meeting and identifying next steps, without making an out-and-out pitch. They also recommend being on the lookout for signals of interest shown by members of the foundation’s representative body.
Those signals include:
* I’d like to learn more about that.
* Have you thought about taking X approach?
* How can we help you with that?
* I’d suggest you keep my brother informed.
* We might have some additional funding for this.
* Have you thought about coordinating with organization X?