Walters Family Foundation

The Art of Site Visits: What Is Your Product?

by Cliff Walters President

The Art of Site Visits

This summer my oldest daughter, Jamie, a board member of the Walters Family Foundation, and I had the privilege to visit a number of non-profits in Oregon to learn more about what they do.  We discovered that the individuals running the organizations were highly open to sharing and talking about their work and those they help.  We discovered that these visits were also a two-way street in that the organizational leaders wanted to learn from us as much as we came to learn from them.  These visits proved to be a wonderful way to bond and become partners in helping to take the organizations to the next level.

What Is Your REAL Product?

Among the questions we posed was, “What are you selling?  What is your product?”  Surprisingly, the leaders had not heard this question before.  Often they would default to what they “did” in their organization such as providing clothing or food, supporting battered women, helping kids to read, or rescuing teens off the street. This is noble work and cannot be diminished. 

But we asked again.  “Tell us, what is your REAL product?”  More than half would suggest they sell HOPE.  Hope for a better life, or to not go hungry.  We questioned back, "But hope can be defined as ‘unrealized dreams.’  How long can you keep those for whom you care simply hoping?”  Questions such as that led to an even deeper discussion and ultimately the discovery of the real product. 

Will You Agree?

On October 8, 2017, I was privileged to give the Keynote Address for the annual fundraising event for Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS).  Here I discuss some issues that will lead you to discover the REAL product.  Will you agree with the conclusions?  Let’s see!