You’ve got 5 minutes to MAKE YOUR PITCH so make it COUNT!:
By Heidi Boynton, 100 Women Who Care Santa Cruz
Whether you are the founder, a volunteer or a donor that is hands off, if you are going to be the representative to pitch the group for funding your organization/group, you need to know what you do and how you do it. In a matter of 5 minutes you’ve got to be able to tell what you do, what kind of impact you make and what you will specifically do with the money given to you. The women sitting in this room have come and are committed to 100 Women Who Care BECAUSE of the simplicity, the quick decisiveness and the camaraderie of seeing all the great work in Santa Cruz. Use the time you have given to make a huge impact. Even if you aren’t chosen as the benefactor for the night, you have had the audience of change makers in Santa Cruz County…..use it wisely.
1) Know the facts!
Practice your elevator speech. You need to be able to tell the story of the work your organization does in under 1 minute. People get lost easily by drawn out explanations. Write down what you do, how you do it and who is affected. Then wrap that around a few sentences and voila! you’ve got your pitch. If an organization is drawn that you are a part of and you don’t feel confident to be able to clearly and concisely convey the message, pass this time and brush up on the organizations you are involved in so you can make a solid pitch. Sometimes if there isn’t clarity it can do more to hurt the organization you are trying to help by confusing those that are hearing about it for the first time.
2) Tell the HEART story!
Be sure to think of a way to tie in a personal story of those you impact with the work you do so that the group has a very clear understanding and then connection to that work. As you prepare, write down WHY you are involved? Why does it matter to you and who/what have you seen change in the times you have been involved that have mattered to you? If it matters to you, it will probably matter to someone else. Write down a short story of how the work of the organization directly made a change and time it…get it under one minute and PRACTICE it.
3) Show them the MONEY!
Where will the money go! The people in the room are ready to make a wise choice about where they donate. Those that struggle to define where the folks hard earned money will go once they write that check will find they struggle to get those checks written at all. I’m not talking about detailed financial statements here, what I am talking about is a strong description of what the funds will be supporting. It could be general operating budget to help grow a new local organization, it could be for materials to distribute as a part of the programs work. Taking the time to find out where the money will go pays off in the long run and will give you the confidence to stand up and make your pitch to the group. If you don’t explain in your allotted time to give your pitch, they will ask in the Q & A, you will still have to have an answer
Be prepared or say “No thanks, I’ll do it next time” if you aren’t ready to speak, and GET THE MONEY OUT OF THEIR POCKETBOOKS!
Talking points to include in your presentation:
By 100 Women Who Care Bloomington, IN
Making your case for support in the 5 minutes that you are allowed takes some planning. Following are some talking points you might want to incorporate into your presentation.
- State your name and the name of the organization you would like to receive the funding.
- Start with an engaging opening line, e.g., “75 women in our community are involved in a domestic violence dispute every month…”
- Share what the mission of the organization is.
- Describe the program that you would like to be funded. Provide some background information, if possible.
- Identify how many people and who the funds will impact.
- Tell how essential this program is and what our community will miss if this program does not get funded.
- Explain the measurements that will be used to ensure the success of this program and good use of the donation.
- Share what this donation will “buy” for our community.
- End with a heartfelt ask and a thank you.
Remember that you must be a member of 100 Women Who Care in order to make a presentation at a meeting.
To join 100 Women Who Care Santa Cruz, complete a Membership Form and return it via mail, email, or bring it to the next meeting. To nominate a charity for consideration, complete a Nomination Form and return it via mail or email at least two days before the next meeting. You must be at the meeting, and be a member, to put a name in the hat and speak about the organization.