On April 20, members of the Greater Good Greenville community joined the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for their meeting for a panel discussion of local corporate and foundation funders. Risé Wilson, Executive Director of the Office of Philanthropy with Prisma Health served as moderator. Panelists were Amanda Dow Foundation Manager with Duke Energy; Lynn Mann, Senior Manager, Community and Public Affairs with Fluor Corporation; Allison Safford, Community Investments Officer with Hollingsworth Funds; and Samantha Wallace, Local Market Executive SVP with Bank of America.
Here are Greater Good Greenville’s Top Five Takeaways:
- Is your organization and specific ask a fit for the funder? Know the differences between funders and their giving priorities. Review the funder’s website, grant application and which organizations received their funding in the past.
- Understand the process. Be patient when asking for funding and trust the process. Grant cycles differ between funders, do your research to know these schedules.
- Be proactive and build relationships with funders. Reach out via email to set up a time to speak before sending in a grant request.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the funders/sponsors what they would like in return. They may not want to fill sponsors tables at an event (unless it’s Beyonce of course), and instead may appreciate a meaningful social media post about their support. Also, there may be times when a sponsor does not want their name listed.
- Relationships matter, but … use spellcheck. A funder will understand that you may not be able to hire a grant writer but do take the time to avoid sloppy cut and paste methods and misspellings.
Bottom line: do your homework, cultivate relationships, and maintain communication throughout the grant period and beyond! For more information on AFP, follow this link to their website.