How to Prepare for a Site Visit
Many funding organizations require site visits as part of their granting process—either before the grant is made or afterwards to inspect the progress of the project. It is crucial to be prepared for the visit, so that you know what to show your funder and how to ensure proper documentation.
Identify the Purpose
If you know that a visit is part of the grant process, preparation should begin as soon as possible. If a site visit is already mentioned in the RFP, you know what is expected and you can prepare beforehand. However, if a foundation requests a site visit with short notice, make sure you reach out to clarify. What does the funder want to inspect? How many representatives are expected to participate? Who is required to take part in the visit? How long will the visit last?
Announce the Visit to Colleagues and Staff
Just like you do not want to be caught off guard by a site visit, you also do not want any colleagues, staff members, or supervisors to be surprised by the visit. After you clarify what the intent of the visit is, notify everyone involved and help them to be well prepared. This might mean going over the proposal and the requirements again.
Make sure you and everyone who is involved in the project or the visit has the correct information, data, fact sheets, and necessary records available. Generally, there are five key areas to consider:
- The organization itself
- Program personnel and staff
- The program
These areas might include employee or demographic information, IRS determination, nonprofit status, previous grant applications, or records relating to finance. Also review the site visit notification to ensure you fully understand which key areas are going to be inspected and addressed during the visit.
If the visit includes inspecting a physical space, facilities, buildings, or land, confirm that everything is accessible. Remove hazards or debris, clean the facilities and buildings, and check that you can get everywhere