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Getting the Visit-A volunteer tip sheet

Begin with the end in mind…for volunteer solicitors

  1. Take a moment to review your prospect's information, ask for more from your organzation if you need more information about giving history, relationship with the organization, etc.
  2. Confer with your staff or volunteer partner about where you want to take this prospect and what the best route is to get him/her there.
  3. Think of a "hook" or a sales motivation that might be of interest to the prospect, such as the fact that his grandson learned to swim at the school's pool, or that she grew up going to YMCA summer camp, or was served at the hospital's emergency room.

Persistence and unyielding resolve: when you secure the visit, you are 85% there

  1. Remember what you are calling for: you are giving your potential investor the opportunity to save lives and change lives. What could be more rewarding and ennobling than that? You might want to review your personal list of your organization's Unique Selling Points before you launch into this step.
  2. If your telephone calls have not been fruitful, then send a letter of introduction. If you don't have any, we have samples of these. Sending the letter, for many people, can be the most effective way to secure a visit. Plus, it saves five or ten minutes of phone conversation trying to explain why you want to see the person.
  3. Make your decision about which stationery to use…the organization's, your own personal stationery, or your business letterhead.
  4. State in the letter that your main purpose of the visit is to share something personally exciting, special, and potentially very powerfully impactful on our community.
  5. Make it clear in your letter that your intent is NOT to ask for a gift. This visit is for introductions only. You might suggest a comfortable, neutral location where you can always conveniently stop by the organization's office for a tour afterward. Breakfast, coffee, lunch, cocktails, or dinner settings are social options.
  6. Place the follow-up telephone call and secure the time, date, and location. When this is set, follow up once more with a short note confirming your appointment, and maybe some preliminary information about the project.


i tools Home

Annual and Capital Campaigns Together

Annual Giving: Challenges and Opportunities

Board Handbook Outline - A Key Resource!

Chasing Away Those Mid - Campaign Blues

Early Cultivated Resources

Finding and Managing Natural Partners

Getting the Visit - A volunteer tip sheet

i team Irreducibles

Overcoming Your Fear of Asking

Qualifying Prospects

Securing the Visit

Solicitation Resources; You Are Not Alone

The Last Investor

The Rule of 3s

Voice of the Stakeholder

About the author...
Author, thinker, and consultant Mario Capozzoli writes for a living. Over the years, his words have been "columnized" in op-ed pieces, ranging from his alma mater's student newspaper to the Glendale News Press, a 102 year old southern California daily with a readership of 72,000. Sister paper to the Burbank Leader and the Huntington Beach Independent, Mario's weekly column ran in the News Press for two years.

More recently, Mario's writings have revolved around professional monographs, knowledge management perspectives, and leadership pieces focusing on the not-for-profit world. His specialty is writing succinct, one-page documents that illustrate techniques, practices, and beneficial resources.

On a personal level, his narratives have been published in local and statewide journals. Mario's love of poetry shows his softer side of the written word.

You will find Mario in the middle of grammar, syntax, and word use arguments and debates. He prefers the Chicago Manual of Style as a usage guide! His mentor is Barbara Wallraff, of the Atlantic Monthly's backpage.