We’re in a Campaign…Help! What’s my Elevator Pitch?
I have been working with a not for profit organization that is about to launch its first capital campaign. It’s been a very exciting and busy time for the leaders of this organization as preparation for the campaign has been full steam ahead! In just a short few months, interviews and vision sessions have been held to gain buy-in and advice from supporters, staff and other key friends of the organization. A fundraising goal has been carefully determined. The campaign has been named. Leadership has been recruited to be the “eyes and ears” of the effort. Plans for an inaugural event to announce the campaign and engaging support from top donors is in the works. A campaign logo has been designed and campaign materials are being prepared. And…the list continues.
As you know, a campaign has a lot of moving parts and takes the time and energy of many of the staff and volunteer leaders such as the board and members of a steering committee. In particular, the leaders of an organization must add campaign work to their already full schedules. The bottom line is…it takes a lot of extra time, work and effort to successfully launch and fund a campaign.
Beyond the gifts that will be celebrated as they are secured for this effort, a particularly poignant statement was made by a client that shared why this campaign is so important. Simply put, she said…”This organization saved my life.” As we get so caught up in the details…and we must…so that the effort is a success, we must remember why we work to move the needle forward with a campaign.
Quite often, we hear from board members and volunteer leaders of a campaign from many organization that they get “stuck” on how to talk about the important work of the agency. They feel that they need to have all the stats and facts to “sell” a potential donor on a project. And, the stats and facts are important…but often can be shared by a staff leader and not necessarily the board member. This client reminded me of just that…sometimes a simple message from someone directly impacted by the agency is the best way to convey the important work of the not for profit. It’s the story we can share of this client and thousands of others who, without the care and safety net of this agency, would not be able to live their best lives. So, my message today is simple to volunteer leaders…go for a simple elevator pitch…one that you are comfortable with and that is easy to share. Tag team with your staff leaders so that they can share the nitty gritty details. And, when the work gets cumbersome and intense during a campaign, remember who will benefit from all the hard work and how it will help impact or sometimes even save a life.
by: Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant HUB Philanthropic Solutions