Peter Faulkner is a development practitioner. He has learned from experience the secrets involved in connecting ministries with foundations. In this interview you’ll hear Peter share how a nonprofit ministry can begin the journey of establishing a mutually benefiting relationship with a foundation.

Peter pastored for 25 years in West Virginia, where he never had much to do with fundraising other than passing the offering plate. Peter then transitioned into a ministry in south Georgia serving as the director of advancement where fundraising was a key part of his position. There he learned how to raise funds by partnering with foundations.

Peter has learned to avoid some of the pitfalls of this process, one of which is contacting a foundation while having no personal relationships. Learning to create those relationships is the key. Often, it is a matter of who you know that knows the foundation. Having an introduction is the best way to establish the relationship. If a personal introduction is not possible, then look for the common ground between your ministry and the foundation. Don’t ask for money right away; instead ask for an opportunity to become acquainted. Don’t rush it! This takes time.

Another pitfall that Peter has identified is a ministry leader thinking that “no” means “never.” Just because a foundation says no on the first ask does not mean that you should end the relationship with them.

Peter also discusses how you can find foundations that you may be able to partner with. Some resources that Peter recommends are, and

Another piece of advice Peter has is that you need to listen to the foundation if you want to build a fruitful relationship. Learn from the foundation what they are passionate about and encourage them. As we say at Ministry Ventures often, fundraising is ministry, and fundraising through foundations is no different.

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