Understand the differences in approaching different types of donors. Private foundations, individuals, corporations, government entities, and community foundations each have a preferred – and even formal – process.
Conduct thorough research to determine which donors are most likely to identify with your goals; study their history of financial support and carefully review any stated areas of funding. Will your grant application fit within their stated scope of funding? If not, don’t ask. You will be wasting your time and resources that can be used for better return on investment.
When you find a foundation or organization that matches your goals, be sure you know what information they require and the format in which they require it.
Keep in mind that in some cases, your project or program’s fit won’t be obvious to the donor. It’s up to you to show how your project could meet the requirements for funding. Be honest with the fact that your request may not meet all the requirements. A good effort may provide the basis for consideration.