Guest Post: Do you ask on the first visit???

Do you ask on the first visit---

It’s a question I get all the time!

And by the look on people’s faces, my answer must be pretty lame. Probably because I usually say something along the lines of “sometimes,” or “it depends.”

When I worked in leadership annual giving, I always asked on first visits. Gifts at that level tend to be a little more transactional. And for the most part, people got it. They weren’t offended that we just met and there I was asking for cash.

But with major gifts, it’s different.

So, I suppose a better answer would be: “I talk about philanthropy on first visits, but I don’t always ask for a gift of a specific amount to achieve for a specific outcome.”

But sometimes I do! It depends. On a lot of things.

The considerations involved are actually pretty interesting.  So, I decided to see if I could map them on a decision tree. Take a look!

Decision Tree_Asking On First Visit_Page_1 Decision Tree_Asking On First Visit_Page_2

And when you’re done, leave a comment letting me know if I left anything out.
What else determines whether or not you ask on the first visit???


Written by K. Michael Johnson


A self-proclaimed fundraising geek, K. Michael loves the nitty-gritty of major gifts work. By day, he raises money for a large research university. In his spare time, he blogs about things he’s learned the hard way at

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