The Easy Elevator Pitch for your Nonprofit (Part 1)

There is one question that can strike fear into a nonprofit employee’s heart.

“Oh and what does your nonprofit do?”

We all know, of course, what we do. But everyone’s answer may be a little different.  And there is nothing worse than hearing a board member or volunteer’s response and immediately thinking, “Where did THAT come from?”

But how do you fix it? Well, usually it’s to hire a consultant or a firm to do some research (since all nonprofits are different) and come up with a messaging platform. But not all nonprofits have the time or resources to do that. So, here’s an easy (and free!) way to develop a concise, simple elevator pitch that can be used throughout your organization to describe what you do.

The point of this is to make the listener understand the gist of what you do, not every single aspect of your organization. So, when you start writing, think of an audience of 4th graders.

And here is the equation:

Why- What is the problem your organization is trying to solve? (i.e. the need)
What- What do you do to solve the problem?  (i.e. your solution)
How- How do you implement your solution? (i.e. your programs)
Results- What has your organization accomplished? (i.e. proof points)

Let me give you an example: Brewery-to-Home Inc.

Why- Research has found that people are very unproductive when there is no craft beer in their refrigerators.
What- Since everyone’s busy, brewery-to-home delivery is the best way to ensure they never run out of delicious craft beer.
How- Our organization runs a delivery service that provides these people with their beer every week, so they never run out.
Results- We’ve served about 100,000 pints of beer right to peoples’ homes, keeping them happy and productive since 2005.

So, let’s say you’ve done the hard work to write it out. You’ve sat down with your boss and it’s been approved by everyone and you’re ready to go. Now what do you do?

Well, you stay tuned for Part 2.

See you next week!

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