Andrew Deen 4m 536 #elevatorpitch
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Using Elevator Pitches For Business
Some would say the most challenging sales career is in philanthropic ventures. All salespeople have a service or product to offer, but nonprofit professionals convince others to gift money for nothing other than a good feeling and tax benefits. That’s why they practice the perfect pitch, search for donors that would be interested, and maintain appreciation for their current donors.
Nonprofit philanthropy is currently in a unique and challenging time. The internet and advancements in communication have had both positive and negative consequences on the “giving industry”. The benefits included a limitless donor pool, donor accessibility, global awareness, and easy online collecting options. The negatives weren’t as numerous but devastating nevertheless – financial reports and practices were revealed thanks to the transparency the internet provides, and donation misappropriation shattered donor trust.
The Current Landscape
The charitable landscape is complicated, yet still successful. 35% of Americans are distrusting of charities thanks to recent financial controversies. When it comes to asking for help, a donor pool that is a third short makes the competition that much tighter. However, the donor pool vastly grew thanks to online opportunities, and 2013 saw a 13% rise in online donations.
Though trust has been broken, people understand it isn’t every organization using donations inappropriately – and a careful, scrutinizing eye will be used to separate the legitimate from the phony. Nonprofits realize this as an opportunity to redouble their efforts and pitch what they’ve got. But with so much competition, they need a quick pitch over multiple mediums that explain who they are, what they do, the goals, and why they are the best.
The Elevator Pitch
A timeless and critical component to any successful professional, the elevator pitch is a short speech explaining you or your company/charity’s experience, successes, goals, skills, benefits, and unique selling position (USP). These are incredibly important during networking events and in competitive environments because they are the: first impression, vital information, and memorable. Many find elevator pitches to be crucial when it comes to donors as well.
Philanthropies need to be genuine, and sound genuine. They need to stand out from the group and grab the donor’s attention immediately with a well-executed elevator pitch. If not, they fall by the wayside and become part of the white noise. Furthermore, these pitches don’t need to be conveyed in-person. Following the online trend, elevator pitches are converted to concise success videos, messages, and images that engage the viewer. Visual media is as impactful as a live-meeting if done properly, and are simply another method in which to give an elevator pitch.
Reassure and Retain Donors
Elevator pitches, especially those translated into an online medium, aren’t simply for new donors. One of the biggest mistakes businesses and nonprofits can make is forgetting about their constituents. Remind them of their worth through a quick message, whether my mail or phone call. It’s a perfect time to convey a new elevator pitch reminding them of the good they’ve done and how much more there is to do. New donors are needed, but a most donations come from returning donors.
University of San Francisco