This article was originally published by our friends at the “Fort Worth Business Press” on January 10, 2011, right after our rebranding work in late 2010 after sixteen years in business. I was reminded of it as we launched our refreshed website this week, in preparation for our 25th year in business next year. I think it’s worth repeating.
I had the privilege to facilitate a working session last month of a group of concerned citizens, community and corporate leaders, all planning to work together to directly affect an important community issue. As we worked through 1) how this collaboration might be beneficial to them all and 2) how they could most effectively make a difference, I was reminded of a presentation on coalition-building I heard when on a United Way/Fort Worth Chamber community advocacy for education assignment, funded by the Gates Foundation.
When working to obtain foundation and corporate financial support, building a relationship with the prospective grant maker is half of the work. This is essential, especially if you are applying online, which has become standard. If you haven't created a relationship, it is likely your application won't get more than a glance during the review process, no matter how good it is.