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The Importance of a Site Visit

Ahh… the memories of August site visits. Way back when I worked for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, I was the person who managed the site visit logistics for our National donors. These visits required a combination of meaningful interactions with grantees, showcases of Alaska’s natural beauty, and tighly-run itineraries that were often waylaid (enhanced!) by weather or wildlife. Never underestimate the power of inviting your donors for a visit. Give them a chance to experience, to understand, to feel like a human (allowing for rest or just acting like a tourist). Don’t spend a lot on lunch, and don’t hide your challenges-this is an opportunity to talk them through, or ask for feedback as a way to resolve. Hosting a visitor to your program translates words on a piece of paper into a compelling and memorable experience. The Grant Professionals Association has a tip sheet on site visits here.

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