I've always wondered what kind of "relationship" people are talking aboiut when they ask nonprofit fundraisers to "build relationships," with foundation officers or philanthropists.
Most of these relationships would seem to be insincere courtships, in which fundraisers try to find some common ground with people they probably don't have much in common with. With all the fundraising literature that's out there I've never seen something that tells us how to build relationships. Do I ask if they have a pet? Pretend that I know the same people they do?
I've found that running great programs, and articulating clearly why those programs are good is the best way to get a foundation grant.