Hosting a Site Visit
Hosting a site visit for a Member of Congress is a powerful way to build your relationship with your Member of Congress, showcase your Native CDFI, establish yourself as a resource, and (if you feel comfortable) share the Native CDFI Network’s policy recommendations with them so they will support continued funding for Native CDFIs.
Download Policy Agenda
Tips for Hosting a Site Visit
Use the tips below as a guide to help you plan, schedule, and host your site visit.
Scheduling the Site Visit
Schedule the site visit for when your Member of Congress is home in his or her district – August is when Congress is in recess – and follow these scheduling guidelines:
- Email an invitation letter to your Member of Congress’s district scheduler 4-6 weeks before the site visit. Copy the scheduler in the Washington, DC Congressional office as well. Our consultant, Alison Feighan can provide you with their name and contact information.
Download Sample Invite Letter
- Follow up with a phone call.
Download Telephone Script
- Be very flexible with the Member of Congress’ schedule and try to accommodate them since they are often very busy when in their home district.
- Let us know about your progress! Inform Alison Feighan when the visit is scheduled.
Planning the Site Visit
To help you plan the site visit, here is a sample agenda for you to use as a starting point:
Sample Site Visit Agenda
- Welcome and introductions
- Background about [name of organization]
- Seeing [name of organization] in action
- Meeting the staff
- Meeting the partners
- Meeting the clients
- Q & A with staff, partners, and clients
- Giving a tour of the facility
- Presenting Member of Congress with product/gift made by a client
- Closing, and (if you feel comfortable) requesting that Member of Congress support the Native CDFI Network’s Federal Policy Recommendations to support Native CDFIs and provide Impact Data One-Pager (template to be completed by NCDFI)
Hosting the Visit
Be sure to prepare your staff and clients for the site visit by telling them:
- The goal of the site visit
- What to expect
- What role they should play
Staff should be ready and willing to describe how their program(s) work and provide evidence of the impact of the program(s) on the local community. Clients should be able to share their story about how they learned about the program(s) and how the program(s) have helped them. You should be prepared to make the request for Native CDFI Network’s policy priorities needed to ensure the continuation of the program(s).
After the visit, send a thank you letter by email to the Member of Congress, including any photos. In the letter summarize the visit and restate the request or their support of the Native CDFI Network’s policy priorities. Copy Alison so she can follow up with an additional thank you email.