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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Visit with a Foundation

Nick walks through a visit with a foundation and demonstrates how build Leadership Consensus to validate the plan.

Set Up

Nick meets with a local bank foundation that has a long-time, but unmaximized, relationship with Christian Community Action, an organization that started a campaign but fell short of their goal.



Key Learning Points:

  • Leadership Consensus Building – getting long-time funders on board to validate the plan
  • Ask questions to determine where their priorities lie
  • Get them on board as a champion before the ask, then the ask becomes a natural progression of the relationship
  • Nick used specific language that communicated directly to a bank mindset (strategic partner, emphasis on numbers and plan, ect)
  • Use the tool to draw the prospect into specific parts that they are interested in
  • As a partner, Nick showed that the organization is raising the bar everywhere – that’s why it makes sense for the foundation to raise their bar
  • Sell the plan – let them know that we are a sound investment in the future
  • It’s about making a commitment to having a lasting impact on the community


Key Learning Points:

  • Roadmap: Predisposition, presentation, follow-up
  • Constantly predispose the prospect to the next part of the flow
  • Follow Up with prospects, with your organization, and with yourself
  • Immediate follow-up letter – “here are the key points we talked about, I have captured and confirmed them”
  • Current visit follow-up letter – bullet point format
    • You’ve been one of our best partners, strategic match with our priorities
    • Ending homelessness
    • Strategic partnership
    • Confirm follow-up steps
    • Give a specific time to follow-up
    • Use specific quotes of what they said
  • After action report – how did the message work, what did we learn, what do we need to change? It’s a continual learning process
  • As sales people, keep the ball in your court – control when you are going to get back to them

Only 15 Minutes To Meet With New Prospect

Nick demonstrates a visit with a prospect when under a 15 minute time constraint.



Key Learning Points:

  • Establish a personal relationship and connection.
  • Even though there were only 15 minutes, the visit did not feel rushed or pressured.
  • Listen and ask questions! The prospect did most of the talking

A Triple Ask on the Very First Visit

The prospect has a very strong relationship with the college, and Tom does a triple ask the very first time he meets with her.


Tom visits with a high capacity prospect for the first time who has a strong relationship with Ohio Wesleyan University an alumnus. She is a very successful attorney with a generational connection to the school, including a her parents, two sons, and multiple other family members.




Key Learning Points:

  • Err on the side of asking and being aggressive, but be in tune with what the prospect is saying and body language.
  • If the prospect has too many options, it makes it harder for them to choose

The Napkin Close

Tom demonstrates the Napkin Close with a high capacity prospect that is already invested in the organization.

Key Learning Points:

When going after a high number, such as $10M, layout a pyramid funding plan with the prospect in a template such as – 1 @ 2M, 2 @ $1M, 4 @ $500k.

If the prospect is already invested and a champion for your cause, ask the questions, “Would it be possible for you to take the lead on this effort?” or, “Where do you see yourself on this pyramid?”


Discovery Close

The Discovery Close can be used when you have not been able to qualify the prospect’s interests or capacity.

Key Learning Points

  • Ask questions and listen!
  • “Where do you see yourself?”
  • “Would you be willing to share with me a little about your grant making process?”
  • “I know you give to so many wonderful projects, could you share a little about your philosophy and priorities?”
  • “I know you have a foundation but I don’t really know much about that, would you be willing to share a little before we talk about the funding plan and how you can help?”

An Ask on the First Visit

In an unscripted scenario, Tom conducts an Ask On the First Visit to demonstrate the flow of the For Impact coaching principles and strategies.


The client is a high-capacity Catholic prospect that is highly involved with his Parish. Other than this, Tom knows very little about the client and his connection with the organization.




Key Learning Points:

  • Be intentionally time considerate throughout the visit (i.e., say ‘Thanks for your time today’)
  • Sit shoulder-to-shoulder rather than face-to-face – it creates a “team” mentality
  • Taking notes is mandatory!
  • Ask LOTS of questions and listen to the answer. Get the client involved and engaged by creating questions. (i.e. How many children do you have? Grandchildren?)
  • Use the altitude framework, focus on the impact – Purpose, Priorities, Plan
  • Let the client go where he wants to go (i.e. Which one of our priorities grabs ahold of you and makes a connection?)
  • Roadmap: Predisposition, Presentation, Follow-Up
  • Engagement tool: not all of the tool is needed

Key Language and Phrases:

  • I wanted to share a couple of things with you
  • Let me show you cleanly and simply
  • We need more involvement from smart and engaged leaders in the community
  • We need handful of founding members to help create momentum with this project
  • I think it is important for you to be in this area/we need you in this area. Is that something you could do?
  • I know you have the capacity, is it a possibility?
  • Wrap up and give a direct action plan for following up

Community Leadership Role Play

  • Nick demonstrates how to share the vision and offer the opportunity for help.


    Nick has just met with a prominent community leader on behalf of Circles, a new organization whose mission is to stop the cycle of poverty.

    Key Learning Points:

    • Predisposition – send an email ahead of time i.e. I’m really excited to sit down with you tomorrow, here are some materials for you to look at, I’d like to get your feedback and input and talk about how you can help.
    • The people you meet with are great people, they might not say yes, but they want you to succeed.
    • Mentally, the visit is shoulder-to-shoulder – “We have to do this together!”
    • Ask questions! i.e. Does that make sense? What do you think about this?
    • Start with them where they are – Give them permission to be skeptical if they need to be.
    • Engage, Then Plan – i.e. Based on my math, I made a determination that it would be worth my time to get 10 people on board.
    • Listen and Always Take notes! Write down specific words they say and turn their words into the message.
    • “Forget about the money, I actually believe that our program and impact cannot be as successful without you.”
    • Follow-up immediately after the visit.