Relationships with grant makers (or funders if you prefer) is a critical part of being successful with your grant seeking efforts!
The truth is, each grant maker has their own preferences and capacity for building relationships with potential grantees prior to an award. However, when the connections are made, they ultimately ensure that you are applying for the right grants, and not spending time on those where your program/organization is a not a good fit.
So once you’ve found a grant maker that you are interested in potentially applying to you can use this flowchart to decide how and when to reach out to a grant maker. Start with the initial question about “Should I contact the funder?” and follow your path based on your interactions and responses with each grant maker to find your grant seeking success.