In grantseeking, personal contacts usually do help. Although knowing someone may make it easier to have your proposal considered, putting pressure on those reviewing your proposal can backfire. Demonstrating that your organization has strong leadership often will go further toward securing a grant than personal contacts.

If a foundation’s guidelines or descriptive directory entries state that it makes grants to pre-selected organizations and that it does not accept unsolicited requests for funds, explore the possibility that someone who knows your organization well, such as a board member, may have a contact at the foundation. If not, accept the challenge of figuring out how to attract the foundation’s interest.

See also…

Nonprofit Law and Fundraising