When you’re raising funds from individual donors, the need for strong social and professional connections is a given. But when you’re going after foundation and corporation dollars, do connections matter?
They do matter, according to Holly Thompson, contributing editor for The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “Your grant proposal gets a tremendous boost when the funder knows and trusts your organization and its staff. Investing in a known rather than an unknown just makes good sense.”
Whenever possible, said Thompson, avoid cold grant requests. If you don’t have a relationship with the funder, invest time in finding people connected to your organization who know the funder and can advocate on your behalf. When looking for champions, consider these sources:
To sum it up, if you don’t have an existing organizational relationship with the funder, do this kind of detective work and get your champions involved before you submit the proposal. Your request has a better chance of success if it’s not cold.
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