One indicator of a well-run nonprofit organization is whether or not the board members, staff, and volunteers consistently and personally promote the organization throughout the community. In part, this is accomplished by dozens of informal conversations (elevator speeches) that are delivered by people involved with the organization to help build awareness of the organization’s value.
The outline, below, lists and describes each of the four steps and provides some optional statements that can be used to construct an elevator speech. Of course, you can customize these statements or add others with which you are more comfortable. During orientation, each board member, staff and volunteer should be encouraged to develop his/her own elevator speech and to incorporate it into everyday conversations with family, friends, and business colleagues.
Step 1: Opener – Starts the conversation/States the need.
1. Have I mentioned that I’m involved with /on the board of xyz organization?
2. Are you familiar with xyz organization?
3. Have you heard about the xyz organization?
4. Did you realize that (definition of local need) right here in our town/county/state?
Step 2: Mission – Explain what the organization does/how it serves the “need.”
1. The mission of xyz organization is……
2. We focus on….
3. Our major work includes…..
4. You may have seen the newspaper article about our project/fundraiser/volunteer drive…..
5. We serve x (# ) clients and provide them with ___________
Step 3: Personal Involvement – Links the speaker to the organization.
1. I’ve been involved with xyz since ______ (year)
2. I enjoy being a part of xyz organization because…
3. I am proud of our work because…
4. I am especially excited about our recent project/accomplishments…
5. I first got involved with xyz organization when…
Step 4: Learn More – How can the listener learn more about the organization?
1. We have a great web site (———.org) where you can learn more about our projects and programs.
2. If you’d be interested in learning more about xyz I’d be happy to tell you more about our achievements/accomplishments.
3. Xyz has a monthly information session and I’d love you to be my guest and attend one of these sessions. 4. Could I drop off a written brochure to you – or send you one in the mail?
5. We are always looking for volunteers/board members to help us with…
6. Would you be interested in learning more about xyz organization?
All board members, staff and volunteers should be encouraged to construct an elevator speech that they can be personally comfortable delivering throughout the community.