The golden rule in requesting funds – keep in touch, from the moment the first introduction is made. Continuous communication throughout the process is essential in building a relationship with an individual or organization that could potentially be a long-time partner. Just as in any good relationship, follow-through, follow up, and showing appreciation are essential tasks in building a positive relationship with donors.
If a deadline is provided by the donor, meet the deadline. If a response is requested by the donor, get back to them within 24 hours. Show the potential donor that their grant is as much a priority to you as you hope your project is to them. The biggest mistake you can make is being unresponsive and then providing an excuse; rather, communicate the reasons for your delay and set expectations for when you can respond or deliver information. Remember, you are competing against other organizations. Those who are earnest, respond promptly, and make an effort to keep things moving forward generally are rewarded.