I wrote two blogs on relationships. This third blog is about building and keeping a relationship between a nonprofit and a foundation.
Relationships are the most important asset a nonprofit has, which is why this is my third blog on the subject. Whenever a foundation provides money, they show confidence in the nonprofit’s success and the nonprofit has a mission matching the foundation’s goals. A basic relationship is created representing an opportunity for the nonprofit.
The nonprofit should take the lead in further developing a connection with the foundation. There are plenty of advice on business relationships. However, I think it is best that the nonprofit keep things simple.
After receipt of the money, the nonprofit should encourage continued contact by:
- Sending the foundation a quarterly newsletter that includes testimonies, a calendar, and information about the community the nonprofit serves. Do not include politics or gossip.
- Invite the foundation to events. If the foundation is too far away to attend, provide updates on the event.
- Try to visit the foundation at least once. Face-to-face meetings and maybe a lunch go a long way to cementing a business relationship. When meeting, never talk politics or gossip.
- Call as a follow up to previous conversations. Do not make up things to call. When calling, keep things friendly, but not personal. Do not talk politics or gossip.
- Whenever contacting the foundation, never ask for or discuss money. This is not about getting more, but about building a relationship so the money will continue to come.
It is sincerity that makes strong relationships. A nonprofit (or anyone) should develop a strong connection because it builds trust. With trust, there is confidence, opportunities arise, and things are easier.