How do I stay in touch? What do I say next? These are just a couple of the questions that I hear when people are following up after sending a proposal when they haven’t heard back.

I’m Heather Nelson. I’m a Corporate Fundraising Specialist, and I help charities and nonprofits raise more money from companies with a relationship-based approach.

I get asked all the time, “what do I send now? I sent my proposal, I followed up, and I haven’t heard”. Well, my answer is to add value. Add value to the relationship, to the person, to the company.

You need to come up with a way to reach out that’s about them and something they will value, so what could that be?

Do you have an article that you’ve seen that might be relevant for them where you can pull out a key point? Do you have a story that they might be able to share within their organization because it will inspire people? Is it for the person themselves? Maybe a conference or a workshop that you’re going to attend that you think they might like, or better yet one you’ve attended already and there’s a relevant statistic or piece of information that they could use for their presentation doc or just general learning?

If it’s none of those things, is it something funny or engaging? When you can’t add value add personality, so can you follow up in a way that just adds a smile to their day? I have one client who’s super at this. She’s super quirky and she sends funny tweet messages or adds a little faux pas from her day into the front of the email and gives a person a smile.

Either way, you do need to follow up, and it’s not going to be effective if it’s just, “can I have an answer?” “Have you read my proposal yet?” “Can I have an answer?” “Have you read my proposal yet?” So when it’s time to move on from following up – go to value add.

That’s my summer stewardship tip for today. Add value to your relationships and that will really help you for your next ask. Take care.

Other Summer Stewardship Tips:

It’s About Them

Making Friends to Get Corporate Sponsors