[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]
Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook

June 30, 2016

Treat Foundations as You Would Your Best Donors

imageYou understand the importance of doing your homework before submitting a grant proposal. Now, remember that relationship-building applies to foundations, just as it does to individual donors.

Here are a few suggestions for building and sustaining good relationships with foundations:

Provide updates prior to receiving the grant

Even while your proposal is under consideration, stay in touch. For example, if you receive a substantial contribution, send a "More Good News" letter. This lets the foundation know others are investing in your organization. This should strengthen your case for support.

Acknowledge receipt of the grant

Remember, your proposal does not become a grant until the foundation notifies you that your proposal has been funded. As soon as you receive the grant, immediately write an acknowledgement letter and, if a volunteer was involved in the contact, remember to copy that individual, too.

Show appreciation after receiving the grant

Throughout the duration of your campaign or project, keep the foundation apprised of your progress. If the project lends itself to having the people most impacted by the foundation's funding write thank you notes, by all means, do so. If you decide to award the foundation in recognition of their grant, take time to make it something unique to your organization.

Years ago, when working with a pre-school for children with disabilities, they created a very unique, yet, inexpensive award for their donors. It was the imprint of a child's hand in Plaster of Paris in a pie tin. After the plaster set, it was removed from the pie tie and placed in a recessed frame with the donor's name on a brass plate. When I visited one of their donor's offices, this award was displayed on the walls, because it was so distinctive and heartfelt. The same is true for foundations as it is for donors: genuine, heartfelt relationship building is vital!

Norma Murphy, Executive Vice President (Kansas City)


logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Charlottesville, Va.
July 28, 2016

Virginia Fund Raising Institute
"Fundraising Leadership"
Keynote: Karin Cox
John Warren

Beijing, China
July 28, 2016

2nd China Fundraising Conference
Adrian Sargeant

New York
August 1-4, 2016

Fundraising University
The Jewish Federations of North America Professional Institute
Adrian Sargeant

Kansas City
August 15, 2016

Inspired Fundraising Summit
Adrian Sargeant
Jen Shang

Charlotte, N.C.
August 18, 2016

2016 NC AFP Statewide Conference
"Sustainable Fundraising"
Karin Cox
Janell Johnson

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

Brussels, Belgium
August 30-September 2, 2016

CASE Europe Annual Conference
"Outstanding Fundraising: Just What is the Role of Boards?"
Adrian Sargeant

Washington, D.C.
September 15, 2016

NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
Hartsook Sponsor

Kansas City
October 26, 2016

Shepherd's Centers of America
National Conference
Karin Cox

Kansas City
November 2016

AFP Mid-America Chapter
National Philanthropy Day
Hartsook Sponsor

November 18, 2016

National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Adrian Sargeant

November 22-23, 2016

Directory of Social Change Fundraising Fair 2016
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Adrian Sargeant

August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Massive Fundraising"
Adrian Sargeant

Past Stops on the Tour

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

Book Deal of the Monthimage

On The Money (ASR Media) is an enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from 25 nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide. Click here to order On the Money! for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

On the Web


Blogs and articles. President and CEO Matt Beem and Founder and Chairman Bob Hartsook regularly share simple, but powerful messages about philanthropy, fundraising and the power of relationships.


Timely Tips and Tweets! Follow us on Twitter at HartsookTips for tips and giveaways.


Facebook: Become a Fan and a Friend. Fundraising tips, event photos, news and updates - see what's new at Hartsook by becoming a fan of us on Facebook. Friend Hartsook Founder Bob Hartsook, CEO Matt Beem, or Chief Creative Officer Karin Cox for even more updates!

Visit the Hartsook website for:
- Educational opportunities
- Books/reference articles
- Conference/workshop speakers

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].

hartsook                     hartsook institutes
image Plymouth University U.K. Plymouth University U.K.