Step 4 – Site Visits and Volunteering
Learning About the People behind the Non-Profit Organizations
Site Visits and Interview The Staff
This is a key part of the program. Students having the opportunity to visit the agency(ies) they are interested in supporting. Site visits tend to be a highlight of the program for the students and certainly develops a personal connection to the staff, agency mission and even the those being served.
The Site Visit gives the student the opportunity to collect the data needed to support their argument as to why this agency deserves the grant.
What if They Cannot Visit an Agency?
Sometimes the students are unable to visit an agency for multiple reasons: privacy/security for the individuals being served, age restriction, transportation issues, or lack of time. There are plenty of ways to work around this:
- Invite agencies to the school for a ‘Service Fair’. A ‘Fair’ will expose multiple students to the agencies, maybe even those NOT participating in Magnified Giving. Empower students to coordinate these efforts
- Unable to do a Service Fair? Invite individual agencies to address your group and share their mission.
- Students conduct an interview via conference call. IMPORTANT: If this is the only way for the students to gather information ensure they TAKE NOTES or record the conversation, so they do not have to repeat the call with the agency representative. (Let the agency representative know you are recording the conversation.)
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN AGENCY SITE VISIT, CALL OR SCHOOL VISIT:
- SCHEDULE THE TIME AND CONFIRM!
- Students should not make a surprise visit to the agency, it is important the students are courteous and respectful of the agency representative's time.
- HAVE THE STUDENTS DO THEIR HOMEWORK!
- Review the Agency Registration information and Grant Application
- Review their website
- Review their 990 (Agency Tax Return – Financials!)
- Compile a list of questions for the agency representative. Your students should create the list of questions: What do they want to know? (Need ideas? See Great Resources for Step 4 at the bottom of the page.)
- DOCUMENT – DOCUMENT – DOCUMENT
- Ensure your students are prepared before beginning the interview. They will want to take or ask for photos/video of the site, building, and services being given.
- Be ready to take notes or record the conversation; laptop, paper, pen, or record on their cell phone.
- DURING THE VISIT OR CALL
- Encourage your students to remind the agency representative about the reason for the visit.
- Student should share with the agency the possibility of a grant.
- Focus on the prepared questions.
- THANK the agency representative for their time and share the next step in the process.
The Magnified Giving agency registration form includes a question about Service Opportunities for Teens. Volunteering with the organization(s) of interest is another key part to this experience.
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF SERVING OTHER FOR TEENS: It is scientifically proven teens benefit in several ways by volunteering!
- Builds self–esteem
- Develops emotional stability
- Improves mental health
- Enhances school and college experience
- Builds stronger corporate community partners
- Greater employment opportunity
Ensure your students SCHEDULE their time to volunteer, show up as scheduled, dress appropriately, meet any other agency requirements such as parental release or waiver and if the school requires a signature for service the students should take the form. Encourage the students to take photos of their service and share with you.
Please report any typos, errors or broken links to Alison Kaufman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Todd Forman (email@example.com)