Guidestar recently issued a survey
showing how family foundations -- in other words, small, local, family-owned foundations with typical endowments below $10 millions -- prefer to be approached by grantseekers.
It's an important topic given that, as Guidestar points out, competition for philanthropic dollars is so high that the chances of getting a grant from one of the major, richer foundations are "slim to none."
The most important part of their survey-based advice has to do with the importance of personal relationship-building to these grantors. They really, really don't want to receive an impersonal, out-of-nowhere grant proposal!
Also notice that (at last), they prefer you get in touch via email. That should make it easier for any organization whose E.D. or development staff don't like picking up the telephone for a cold call (and know 1,000 ways to procrastinate that task).