|Requesting a Foundation Search|
The first and probably most crucial step in conducting a foundation search is to decide the specific project you wish to raise money for. We usually advise our clients to sit down and conduct a brainstorming session, thinking of at least six potential projects that would attract funding. (We've found that a little schnapps always helps the process!)
Once you've drawn up your list of projects, we will then sit down with you and help you decide which projects have the best chance of attracting the attention of the global foundations. Determining factors may include the type of impact your project will make as well as the specific areas it covers. Foundations are often interested in new and unique ideas.
The next step will be to draw up a Letter of Inquiry, known in the field as an LOI. Most foundations usually request an LOI before anything else. In addition to saving time for both the program officer and the grant seeker, an LOI helps you focus and clarify your goal. Typically an LOI will include the amount you are requesting, your goals, the need for your goals and your qualifications to achieve those goals. Sometimes an LOI will also include a budget.
Once the LOI has been written, we will then begin the foundation search. Taking anywhere between four to six hours, the foundation search utilizes both our in-house database, collated and developed over many years, as well as our subscription to Foundation Search, an online database providing information about thousands of foundations in the U.S, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
A foundation search will delve into hundreds, sometimes thousands, of foundations, finding those foundations that match your needs and present a favorable chance of supporting your requests. You will receive the names of all the pertinent foundations in order of priority, all their contact information, details of the projects they support, application guidelines, limitations and deadlines, trustees and key contacts. Where applicable we will also include our insider information about the foundations.
After completing the search, we are also happy to contact the foundations on your behalf, briefly presenting your project and requesting that we submit an LOI. Should you wish to make use of this service, we will also follow up the LOI's once they've been sent, making sure they've been received and reached the right person. LOI's and proposals often get lost, especially in busy offices, making follow-up imperative.
A foundation search will open for your organization hundreds of new avenues and possibilities, providing untold benefits and opportunity.