Do Your Research First!

There is plenty of truth to the old adage “people give out of relationship”, but relationship alone does not guarantee success. Make sure you do your homework about a prospect before contacting them about support (or even the prospect of support). Today many grantmakers make a practice of sharing their giving practices in easy to reach places. So before you pick up the phone, check out their website, their annual report or marketing material. And if it’s a corporate giver, be sure to take a gander at their business mission as well as their giving focus.  Understanding where their vision and priorities lie can help you as you develop your case for support . The more you can point to a consensus on issues, values and vision, the easier it will be to make a case for their giving to present and future needs.

Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Getting Support from Big Companies”