Master Your Nonprofit’s Marketing Elevator Pitch By Developing Your Brand Benefits

4 min read

Next time someone asks you about your nonprofit, you need to have your marketing elevator pitch ready. Whether you’re talking to someone who could benefit from your services or a contact at a grant-making foundation that could fund your next initiative, you won’t have long to describe the ins and outs of your organization. You need to be able to concisely describe your organization in a way that appeals to each segment of your audience, so you can catch any stakeholder’s attention in the short span of an elevator ride. Following are tips to help you master your marketing elevator pitch.

Define your brand benefits before crafting your marketing elevator pitch

Before shaping any type of messaging, your nonprofit should identify the core brand benefits you wish to promote to your stakeholders. These are the elements of your brand that provoke a positive response in your donors, supporters, employees and those you serve. At Prosper Strategies, we identify brand benefits during the Discover phase of our 4-D ApproachTM.

Your nonprofit should identify the core brand benefits you wish to promote to your stakeholders. Click To Tweet

To brainstorm your brand benefits, consider:

  • What are the main reasons your stakeholders choose to work with your nonprofit?
  • What are the positive messages that stand out in your media coverage?
  • What feedback do you commonly receive from satisfied stakeholders?
  • When you think of why you work where you do, and what you value about it, what comes to mind?

We recommend discussing your brand benefits with your team to gather multiple viewpoints. Once you’ve focused in on a few areas of strength, distill each to a word or phrase, such as “sustainable sourcing” or “community leadership.”

Strong brand benefits are:

  • Specific. These attributes set you apart from competitors and endear your nonprofit to your stakeholders.
  • Emotionally resonant. The most effective brand benefits appeal both to a customer or donor’s sense of reason and their emotions. The emotional benefits of your brand should be powerful enough to make a lasting impact.
  • Simple. Your brand benefits should be easy to articulate to your audience and difficult for anyone to misunderstand.

If you jump right into writing your marketing elevator pitch, you may find that it doesn’t actually emphasize the core strengths you want your nonprofit to be known for. But if you wait until you’ve identified your nonprofit’s brand benefits, you can build on them to ensure that your nonprofit’s marketing elevator pitch concisely expresses your value and points of difference.

Tailor your marketing elevator pitch by stakeholder

You’ve already defined your nonprofit stakeholders — now it’s time to use those profiles and your brand benefits to build your marketing elevator pitch. Start by crafting a generic pitch you can tailor to each audience. In it, you’ll want to succinctly convey each of your brand benefits. Once you have a basic pitch laid out, you’ll need to modify your speech by stakeholder audience.

Once you have a basic pitch laid out, you’ll need to modify your speech by stakeholder audience. Click To Tweet

Let’s take a look at how an elevator pitch for a fictional nonprofit might vary between two audiences. This nonprofit runs a free clinic providing healthcare services for people who cannot access other medical services. An employee would introduce the nonprofit’s work in one way to an individual in need of its services, and in a different way to a representative of an organization that could provide funding to help extend those services. Those marketing elevator pitches could look like this:

Potential recipient of services: We offer the healthcare services you need, at convenient hours and locations. We believe that you deserve personal attention and shouldn’t be priced out of the care you need.

Potential donor: With your support, we offer a wide range of healthcare services to people right here in our own community who otherwise could not access them. In the past year, grants from organizations like yours have helped us double our service hours.  

As you work on each version of your pitch, try reading it out loud. This will help you check the timing and whether the speech feels like something you would actually say. Step back and consider how you would respond to each version of the marketing elevator pitch as one of your stakeholders. Does it truly reflect what you care about? Adjust each pitch until it feels right to you and your team.

Practice these speeches until you feel comfortable with them, and you’ll be prepared to quickly and impactfully introduce your nonprofit to the people who need your services as well as potential donors, partnering organizations, elected officials and more.  

stakeholder worksheets coverThe first step to developing key messages is identifying your stakeholders. 

Download our free worksheets to get started prioritizing your stakeholders and drafting profiles to help you most effectively speak to each with your marketing elevator pitches.

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Are you looking to grow your nonprofit’s impact? Keep reading our blog for more nonprofit marketing advice.