We ask all our clients to have a preliminary conversation with prospective funders before preparing to submit a proposal to them. For many, cold calling seems like a daunting task until they realize the benefits of calling and that they already know what to say. Here are some of our best pointers for calling funders.
Introduce Yourself and the Opportunity You Present
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to network with prospective funders. The idea behind this advice is that foundations like to know the organizations they’re investing in. You stand a better chance of receiving dollars once funders feel that you’re a good investment.
Before you call, it’s helpful to prepare yourself. Remember that you are offering the funder a unique opportunity: the chance to invest in something very important—your nonprofit!
Because many funders are interested in outcomes in terms of benefits to the community, make a list of the concrete ways in which your organization improves the community, as well as how things will improve even more with their funding. Be prepared to tell them about:
• Your community
• Targeted problem or need
• Who you are and your mission