The Non-Profit Elevator Pitch

elevator I freely (and often) admit I’m an old bleeding heart do-gooder and yet, many non-profits pitches leave me – well – both unmoved and un-bleeding (if that’s a word). So, when I ran across this post, The Nonprofit Elevator Speech, it really resonated with me.

Here are her key points:

1. Don’t just repeat your mission statement. Mission statements are often “pie in the sky” or full of buzzwords that don’t actually say what you do.

2. Tell us what you do and who you do it for. Donors want to know how their support makes a difference on the ground.

3. Share a quantitative result. How many people did you help last year? How many acres did you save? Whatever it is you measure, throw in a stat about your accomplishments.

(Personally, I like the small card Habitat for Humanity sends out that shows what my contribution will buy – $10 for a box of nails and so on.)

4. Provide some perspective. Put your work in context, in one sentence. Why is what you do so important? What’s the scale of the problem?

5. Spell out the opportunity. Complete this sentence: “With some additional resources, we could . . .”

I’d add: Don’t get too obsessive about making your pitch short. (The ol’ “seven words or less” and “bumper sticker” ideas that float around.) No, you don’t want to read ’em a book, but you do want to tell them enough to get their interest. Maybe they’ll even ride along another floor to find out more (then, you’ve got ’em!)



One Response to The Non-Profit Elevator Pitch

  1. […] But, here’s the thing. The less you focus on “selling” the more you’re likely to close the deal. The old hard sell (and cold calls) just don’t work. So, relax. You don’t have to be a “killer” sales person. Focus on connecting with the person, having an interesting conversation. Personally, I find the less I worry about the so-called pitch, the more business I close. So, by all means fine-tune your value statements, learn how to listen, learn how to write a presentation or plan that fits the audience…but forget the canned high-pressure sales jabber. Related Post: The Non-Profit Elevator Pitch […]

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