Pitch! Can you effectively pitch your nonprofit in 180 seconds?

Last fall (2012), I was lucky enough to participate in San Diego Social Venture Partners, Advance! San Diego 2012 where 10 San Diego nonprofits competed in an electrifying competition for $50,000 in cash and in-kind services. As a mentor, I was paired up with a nonprofit who needed to develop a 180-second pitch to effectively and concisely describe their nonprofit, services, impact and specific financial need.

Whoa! And with only 180-seconds, how did they do it?

Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152844542565032&l=3860232371947932974

Superfood Drive Pitch

As you can tell from the video, SuperFood Drive is an incredible local nonprofit and I was lucky to work with the organization’s founder, Ruthi Solari, a certified nutritionist who’s motto is: “The food we put in our bodies either promotes disease or prevents disease.”

So, do you think you can effectively pitch your nonprofit in 180 seconds?

I will give you the tricks and tips on how Ruthi was able to put together this incredible pitch on her nonprofit. Here is how to do it: 1.  Basics: You will need to cover the tangibles – what is the organization, the problem it addresses, and the solution you are pitching.

  • Potential funders are looking for attention grabbing sound bites that can easily be understood. Example: “In San Diego County, 480,000 people visit food pantries each month. This is enough people to fill Qualcomm stadium – 7 times over.”

2.   Delivery: the intangibles – effectively present and convey your story, connect with the audience even if it is one person, deliver your pitch in an authentic and passionate manner. Make sure you have your pitch memorized and can deliver it in 180 second. So, it requires you to practice! practice! practice!

  • Tell a success story of a real person or an example: “Imagine when someone is diagnosed with diabetes and is struggling to keep food on the table, they are able to visit a SuperFood Pantry where they are provided with not only healthy food but also the recipes and resources they need to manage their disease.”

3.    Impact: report on your organization’s measurable results to-date, how is your organization poised to make a meaningful difference in your San Diego community.

  • Use hard numbers to show success to-date:
  • Use hard numbers to show how many individuals you can help with additional funding: “Now, imagine the impact when we replicate our SuperFood Pantry program at Feeding America’s 35,000 food pantries across the U.S.”

4.   Ask for help. If appropriate, let your audience know how much you need and what the funds will allow you to do.

  • Make a specific donation request: “To accomplish this we need your help.  A one-time investment of $25,000 will cover training costs for all 90 sites and  $250k will fund the entire self-sustaining SuperFood Pantry program here in San Diego.”


Can you pitch your organization effectively to a room full of funders in 180-seconds?


If you are interested in pitching your organization as part of San Diego Social Venture Partner’s Advance! San Diego 2013, click here.


One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s