How to craft a great nonprofit elevator pitch to donors

Everyone trying to increase fundraising at a nonprofit should have a elevator pitch ready just in case.
Date Published
10/22/2015

While it would be nice to think you don’t have to sell donors on the importance of the cause your nonprofit supports during fundraising, the truth is you need to convey all the nonprofit does very quickly. According to Classy, creating an elevator pitch is more often associated with filmmakers, writers and entrepreneurs, but it is just as successful for those who are trying to raise money for a worthy cause. Any development professionals will tell you the importance of being able to express your organization’s mission quickly and concisely.

Classy reported most big donors will take a¬†considerable amount of time before making a contribution. Every once in a while, nonprofit personnel need to pitch the organization in a minute or less. While long term donor management is key, don’t give up on the possibility of convincing someone to make a donation on the fly. Here’s what you need to think about when creating a quick pitch to give donors:

Start with one sentence
Every pitch should start with a sentence that grabs the potential donor. Think of what your nonprofit actually does and try to express that in a memorable way. According to Clarification, a nonprofit coaching website, the first sentence can be something unexpected. In fact, an unique opening can be a great way to draw in a potential donor. Just make sure it’s not too off the wall. From there, you can expand and explain the organization in further detail.

Describe the organization concisely
Classy suggested you try to describe your organization. Once you have a full description, work to shorten, simplify and clarify that description. This doesn’t mean you should dumb down your message, it simply means you need to cut out any nonessential parts. Anything that’s not paramount to donors you can leave out.

Think about the organization’s mission
An important part of any nonprofit is its mission statement. It is highly important you utilize this in your pitch. Once again, you need to shorten and simplify as you did with the description. In most cases, it will be beneficial to find a way to combine the description with the mission statement. Another way to do this is to take the two tightly constructed entities and build a transition between the two. For some organizations, it will make more sense to discuss the description first then move to the mission. For other nonprofits, it might be smarter to start with the statement.

Tell your story
Another element of a strong pitch is the addition of something personal. A sentence or two about why you’re part of the nonprofit can go a long way with prospective donors. They may agree wholeheartedly with your reasons for joining and that can encourage them to assist during fundraising periods.

While you can’t always predict when you’ll need to pitch the importance of your organization, you need to be ready. Having a pitch put together beforehand can help when the right situation arises.

Although it’s not completely necessary, it can be good to carry a card or some type of literature on a regular basis to share with prospective donors. This supplemental information is something that they can take with them.¬†

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