Anyone who has ever walked into a shop knows that surpassing expectations can win hearts.

We become loyal to companies who go above and beyond, who communicate well with us and make an effort to solve the problems we take to them.

Great service — service that surprises us, service that goes that extra step — is what we tell our friends about.

On the surface, the relationship between a funder and a grantee looks different to that of service provider and customer, but there are important similarities.

When it comes to communicating with funders — both during and after a project — think about what you can do to exceed their expectations and truly show both their impact and your thanks.

If a challenge arises, let them know how you’re addressing it.

When the project is complete, do that little bit more. It might be as simple as including photos or beneficiary quotes in your acquittal.

For a large amount of funding, it might be a special event at which your CEO says “thank you” publicly.

Always be guided by what the funder wants (some shy away from public recognition, others are happy to receive it), but where appropriate, go the extra mile to demonstrate your commitment to the relationship.

Just like every company wants to be the one whose service is so good you recommend it to others, your organisation wants to be the grantee that funders talk about (positively!) with other funders.