This was previously hosted at http://networkingwonder.blogspot.com/2010/07/art-of-networking-3000-handshake.html
I received $3,000 to support my master's thesis research on a handshake. I had been told by a contact that I needed to talk with the Executive Director of the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety. I drafted a fax summarizing my study, sent it to him and then followed up with a phone call. I then attended a conference in Washington, DC, where I knew he would be and met him face to face. After considering my idea, he agreed to provide funding for my effort. Great example of the power of networking and doing your homework.