Put ongoing effort into developing positive relationships with funders – it can reap great rewards. There is much truth in the saying “people give to people.”
- A thank you note to a foundation is appropriate even if you are not awarded a grant. Thank them for their time and convey your appreciation for the work they do.
- If you do not win a particular grant award it is very acceptable to send a courteous note asking for some feedback. You may not get a reply but the effort is worth it in case you do get some valuable comments and advice. And they may remember you in a positive light in the future.
- If your project is funded of course you should be prompt and complete about providing required reports. It is also wise to take a step further and share periodic project updates . These should include significant information about accomplishments to date. You might also send a note (handwritten will stand out in a positive way!) inviting the funder to visit your facility and/or project.
- If you are invited to submit a full proposal after sending a letter of inquiry, check the guidelines and your careful research to see if they encourage an initial in-person or telephone meeting to discuss further details. If so — and only if so — you should definitely request such a meeting. Be fully prepared beforehand. Read all submission guidelines thoroughly and prepare a list of questions that arise. Know your proposed project budget and your timeline and implementation plan inside out and be prepared to discuss and answer questions about them and other aspects of your project discussed in your inquiry letter. Not all foundations will have such a meeting but those who do often provide valuable information which should guide your full proposal development.