by Mandy Pearce
The most important part of all fundraising is relationship building. Grant writing is a key element to a lot of development department’s fundraising plans, and the key to successful grant writing is building really good, solid relationships with foundations. Depending on the foundation you are working with, you may be building a relationship with a program officer, a secretary, a ‘gate-keeper’, executive director or other staff person. Take this seriously. The person you are working with will likely be your voice to the folks that make decisions on what grants are awarded. You want them to know you, what you do, what impact you can and do make… and most of all… you want them to know you are sincere and there is a solid foundation to your relationship. Even if you don’t get funded the first, or every time you apply, keep building that relationship because you never know where it will lead.