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YNPN Recommends: Tips for Your Nonprofit Elevator Pitch

YNPN Recommends Networking

A responsibility of any member of a nonprofit staff or volunteer team is to articulate what need your organization addresses and the necessity of its support. In any setting, the purpose of an elevator pitch is to provide a brief summary to your conversation partner as to why your work demands investment. Consider the following items as a way to frame your delivery:

  1. A one-sentence synopsis of your organization’s mission.

“Tell me about your organization,” provides a blank canvas. It is an opportunity to provide content that promotes your work in authentic language. Clarity and brevity are key here; offer a concise explanation of your organization’s role without regurgitating the website’s mission.

  1. Watch your language!

While you may spend your waking hours discussing and advocating for your organization’s cause, it is unlikely that the CPA you meet at a holiday party possesses your level of knowledge about the same issues. Cause-specific jargon will fly over your recipient’s head, so be sure to use accessible language that does not overwhelm and disengage your audience.

  1. Offer knowledge.

Remember that your organization exists because your cause is not receiving the amount of attention it deserves. This means that the person you are talking to is likely unaware of why they need your resources. Empower them with knowledge while promoting your work toward a solution.

  1. Consider a memorable example.

Outlining a recent program, event, or partnership and its impact helps exemplify your work in the field and is more memorable than any statistic.

  1. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Expressing personal connection to the mission of your organization will instill confidence in those you meet. This is often as simple as an earnest, “I absolutely love what I do.”

As your history with your organization grows, you become better acquainted with its needs and nuances and will be able to tailor your pitch to both organizational climate and audience.

If you are ready to practice your elevator pitch, join us for YNPN’s RVA’s speed networking event on Tuesday, April 26th at 5:30pm at GatherRVA at 409 E. Main St and receive a free professional headshot! Registration is $5 and limited to 35 people: http://bit.ly/1SUQYwt.

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