This post was originally published on Capital Campaign Magic, a great resource for anyone working on a Capital Campaign – or thinking about working on one. Whether you’re a development director, executive director, visionary board member, or learn-while-we-go volunteer, Capital Campaign Magic is a must-see before your campaign gets out ahead of you.
Last week, I shared my virtually fail-proof recipe to craft a concise, compelling elevator pitch that explains what your organization does — and why it matters — in 60 seconds or less.
Momentum is a key ingredient to your capital campaign’s success. Generate a healthy buzz in the community about the way your organization is changing the world, and you’ll find your momentum climbs by the day.
Create a Team of Buzz-Ambassadors
But how do you inspire and engage your team to be your buzz-ambassadors?
Here’re a few tips to get your best ambassadors out in the community sharing stories and building excitement about your organization (and your campaign).
Tip #1: Widen the Circle
Your executive director, development director, and even your board chair may have had enough practice to master their elevator pitches. But these two or three individuals can only speak to so many people in a day.
The more people connected to your organization who can (and do) speak about it effectively out in the community, the more people you’ll reach (exponentially).
Spend some time working with the full board on their elevator pitches — and that’s just a start. You might also offer some workshops and support in elevator pitching to:
- Your staff (especially public facing positions, like the staff person who answers your phones or greets visitors)
- Your volunteers — including committees and long-time volunteers
- Past board members
- Friends and allies of your organization
- Loyal donors and other insiders.
Tip #2: Practice makes Pitch Perfect
A good elevator pitch is like a great pair of jeans — it gets more comfortable and just seems to fit better every time you use it.
How can you work some practice opportunities into your organization’s everyday life? Consider these ideas to make practice part of your daily routine:
- Have a board or staff member volunteer to demonstrate their elevator pitch at the beginning of board and staff meetings. It’s a 60-second way to kick-off the meeting with an inspiring intro while offering people a chance to practice their pitch.
- Brainstorm and share a list of examples of people who are great elevator pitch audiences. Your board members’ co-workers, your staff members’ PTA friends, your volunteers’ closest friends and family… the list of ideas is endless. You could even offer a fun prize for the person who comes up with (and delivers) the most original pitch audience.
- Ask people to share examples of elevator pitch success. Who did they talk to? What happened in the conversation? Sharing success stories helps others realize that (A) this is something you’re all doing together, and (B) it pays off!
Tip #3: Supermodel your own Elevator Pitch
The best way to remind people to practice their pitch is to lead by example.
Make sure that at events where your staff, board, and volunteers are present, that you’re modeling what you’re asking of them. Deliver your pitch early and often, and your ambassadors will find themselves eager to follow suit and engage your audience in the great work your organization does.
Create a Chorus of Buzz
One or two or even three people talking about your organization out in the community won’t be able to generate the buzz you need, no matter how eloquently they’re speaking.
But once your chorus of authentic, excited elevator pitch-perfect ambassadors grows by the dozens, you’ll start feeling the energy and excitement from those conversations everywhere you go.