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Develop and Refine an Elevator Speech

Prior to engaging with philanthropies, all staff at the organization need to be able to clearly and concisely articulate what the organization's goals are and why the program or work is important. Rural organizations and philanthropies emphasize the importance of developing and perfecting an elevator speech, a short prepared statement that captures interest by:

  • Describing the problem that your organization will address
  • Explaining how your organization will address that problem and have an impact on the community
  • Discussing the difference your organization will make if the program is successful
  • Describing what will happen if your organization is not successful
  • Sharing why your organization is uniquely suited to address this problem

Importantly, all program staff must communicate the same information. The same is true for any written communications about the program.

Also, note that this elevator speech is not a pitch about the program's specific funding needs. During an introduction, it is generally not appropriate to ask a philanthropy for funding.