Can you tell your nonprofit’s story in 30 seconds?

Time is precious. So in telling your nonprofit’s story, be brief.

Imagine you are in a checkout line at the store, or in the stands at a game, or in an elevator. Someone, a potential donor, asks about your nonprofit.

You need an “elevator speech” that distills your message and captures the attention of whoever you are talking to.

In crafting your talk, first ask yourself why anyone should care about your nonprofit.

What is the community need you address? What are the values and goals of the person you’re talking to? What difference does your nonprofit make to people you serve? How do you improve your community?

Community needs are complex, and your nonprofit has many moving parts. Your job is to make it easy for people to understand those needs, your role and your impact.

So get to the point quickly. Use a fact or anecdote to put a human face on a community need. Say what you do and how you benefit people.

Be respectful of your listener’s time, and make every word count.

Want help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

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