This week’s question is from Alex and it’s about cultivating foundations. Remember, cultivating means building relationships. Specifically, Alex wants to know:
Should you cultivate foundations the same way you cultivate individual donors?
The answer is “Absolutely yes!”
Tip of the Day:
You definitely want to build relationships with the individuals at foundations just as you do with individual donors.
Cultivate Different Foundations in Different Ways
That said, there are different kinds of foundations and they need to be treated differently.
For example, you’ll need to take a different approach with a family foundation (treating them much more as you do individual donors) than you might a corporate foundation that follows lot of formal policies and procedures.
But even in the case of corporate foundations, cultivating the individuals who work with them increases your chances of getting the grant exponentially. After all, the people behind those boardroom doors are people too, and they’ll appreciate your efforts to connect with them beyond the contacts required by the grant process.
How to Cultivate the Individuals within a Foundation
To cultivate the individuals within a foundation, invite them for a tour and/or to your events. Send them updates on your work and, of course, thank them as well.
In addition, don’t forget about your board and staff!
Find out if they have existing relationships with anyone at the foundation. If so, fantastic! They can be part of building the relationship with your organization.
Lastly, it’s important to remember what cultivation IS, and what it’s NOT.
Share it with others — Today’s Tweetable:
Let’s talk about it!
What have you done to cultivate relationships with the individuals at foundations?
Share your success stories, questions, and concerns in the comments below.
Do you have a question for Ask the Fundraising Expert? Ask in the comments below or contact me directly. I’d love to make your fundraising simpler!