For Impact


After-Action Report

Sales (Major Gifts) Process | | Tom Suddes

Nick has shared with you some things about an A.F.E. – an ACTION-FORCING EVENT. In the last two weeks, it hit me, again, how powerful this really is. Here are 3 quick bullets and a bonus.

    1. PREDISPOSITION!!! If you’re on the For Impact Platform, you know that this is a big, big deal for us. PREDISPOSITION comes before you call to get a visit… is used to set up the presentation… is even used as part of the follow-up. PREDISPOSITION is definitely an A.F.E. (especially if you tell someone you’re going to call them in the next 48 hours to set up a time for the visit!)

    2. DEADLINES. Disney uses the term “THE TICKET IS PRINTED” to reinforce this concept of a deadline. (They tell all the contractors, designers, etc. that this new ‘EXPERIENCE’ [RIDE] is opening on such and such a date. ‘THE TICKET IS PRINTED.’ There will be little kids and their families standing in line… on that day!)

    Priorities, Projects, Programs need DROP-DEAD DATES/DEADLINES, be they real or artificial. Draw a line in the sand. Put a stake in the ground. Use whatever other cliché you want. Just use DEADLINES as an A.F.E.!

    3. MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES. Every single MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE becomes a wonderful A.F.E.! You can tell people you’re going to follow-up. You can announce plans, kickoffs, groundbreakings, etc. Think of your MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE as it relates to ACTION! (A literal ACTION-FORCING EVENT.)

Bonus: BOARD MEETINGS. With all due respect, every “not-for-profit” Board Meeting is a disaster. Boring. Information-driven. No engagement. The only real ‘ACTION’ is approving the minutes from the last meeting.

WHAT IF… you could literally use your Board Meeting as an ACTION-FORCING EVENT? Approve the Funding Plan! Create Leadership Consensus around Priorities! Get buy-in at the highest level on your Message and Vision!


This is a military term for an AFTER-ACTION REPORT. (It has nothing to do with AARP which is a very quiet but powerful organization for old people like me.)

You’ve heard me or read me when I talk about failure… engage then plan… prototype… act now. Every time you actually DO something, it becomes a wonderful lesson…IF you actually take the time to think about what happened, debrief, and get feedback.

AFTER-ACTION REPORTS in the military are the primary means of debrief and feedback. I would encourage you to do your own A.A.R:

• After Every Visit!
• After Every Memorable Experience, Predisposition, etc.
• After Every ‘Lesson’

Special Note: In our For Impact ROADMAP, the EXECUTION component is comprised of PREDISPOSITION, PRESENTATION and FOLLOW-UP.

It this model, the FOLLOW-UP includes a MEMO FOR THE RECORD… in other words, an AFTER-ACTION REPORT! No exceptions. No excuses. There needs to be a written summary of the visit and the required follow-up/action.

There it is.


Common word?