How do you gain funding from a foundation, a church, or even a business?
It all comes down to one important element: personal relationship.
How do you make a foundation about personal relationships? Pick one or two people within the organization who are decision makers, and connect deeply with them. These specific people will allow you to "go deep" with an organization. You will still be communicating with the whole organization, but now you will be communicating through a trusted source.
For example, with grant applications (unless they are government applications), many times these are better received when there is someone at the foundation expecting your application with whom you have already established a relationship. They're going to sort through hundreds of applications, so they can be looking for the one they're expecting from you. It's also important to build relationships before you even submit an application because you want to get to know what that foundation is really looking to find and highlight that part of your cause.
Seeking funding from a foundation, a large church, or a business is unique because you're contending with so many other requests. Most foundations have representatives who handle the qualification process, and those are the people who will be pitching you and your cause to the decision makers. This is another relationship which could serve you well to gain funding. If you can build a good relationship with that representative, they will stand strong for you and vouch for your cause.
Building strong relationships is also the key to building the foundation for your donor base, and it is still key when working with organizations and foundations in general.
Russell Cooper, Co-Founder
As co-founder of Tailored, I am dedicated to developing generosity in the Body of Christ. This is why I'm passionate about creating strategic partnerships with disciple-making organizations, as well as coaching leaders. When I have free time, I'm watching America’s Test Kitchen and trying out new recipes on my wife, my most dependable food critic.