"You must have to visit donors all the time."
Some fundraising officers most certainly do. For example, XYZ College could have graduates living in numerous states and countries. As a result, its Development office may assign fundraisers to specific geographic regions to visit these potential and current donors regularly, building a relationship with each alum that's intended to bring them closer to their alma mater.
We corporate and foundation (C&F) fundraisers are a slightly different breed.
Most of our work happens inside of the nonprofit we serve.
We help grant applicants, like executive directors, researchers and faculty members, to find specific grant opportunities that meet their needs. Then, we help them to apply for those grants.
We read and re-read grant guidelines to make sure we understand the foundation's exact interest areas.
We call the funder to gain additional clarification around their grant programs and to find out if Nonprofit ABC's Community Outreach Initiative would fit into their scope of interest.
We make sure that progress reports are submitted on time. We write cover letters, support letters, long proposals, short proposals, budgets, budget narratives, appendices, and every element in between that might be requested by a specific grantor.
We cross every T and dot every I.
We arrange for grantors to visit the labs, departments, classrooms, shelters or centers that they've funded at our nonprofit.
But at the end of the day, unlike individual donor fundraising, the majority of C&F fundraising success is spurred by detailed, clear proposals and budgets.
In other words, C&F fundraising success generally relies more on the plans and less on the personal relationships.
Corporations and foundations are most interested in learning about the specific initiatives taking place at Nonprofit ABC, as well as who's driving those initiatives. They're way less interested in getting to know the fundraising officer.
I wasn't kidding when I told you that I'm Yente!