Pitch: A form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something*
Outside the charity sector everyone has a pitch: they practice pitching, there are PitchFests, Pitching clubs and even pitching competitions; there are many books sold with different proprietary structures for the best pitch. It is considered a vital tool in the world of persuasion, which is what sales is, after all.
“You get what you pitch for, and you are always pitching.”
I know a brilliant business guru who says this, often. He also has a brilliant methodology for writing your pitch.
In the charity sector we, too, are in the world of persuasion and we need to get our pitch right in order to persuade well. We have given our pitch a different name (I have no idea why) – the case for support – but it is still a pitch and it still has to have the same key elements that bring the audience along a journey that starts by recognising that the present is a place of pain and that the future can be a place of pleasure…if only they are persuaded to act in the way you are going to ask them to act.
The pitch document is a resource document that encapsulates the passion of your organisation for the purpose of explaining why is deserves financial support. It is a source (internal) document used as the go-to place for how you say what you say. There is no need to publish a “case for support” for its own sake.
In plain English, a strong pitch must:
1. Share your vision; explain your ultimate goal
- What would make your organisation redundant?
- What does success look like
2. Be clear about the problem
- What is the wrong you are working to right?
- Who is affected by that wrong?
- In what way are they affected?
3. Explain unique your solution to that problem
- What do you do?
- What are the benefits of your actions to those who are affected?
- – immediate and long-term
- What difference do you make?
- – provide evidence of your impact
4. Clarify the urgency
- Why do we need to act now?
- What would happen without the solution?
5. Demonstrate your authority
- What qualifies you to deal with this problem?
- How long have you been tackling problems like these?
- What is your track record?
- Have you been recognised/ won awards for your efforts?
6. Explain the action plan
- What steps need to be taken?
- How much will it take to achieve success?
When you turn your pitch into a document going to a potential donor then you need to add an additional point:
7. Ask for something
- Be clear
- Be specific
You can get in touch with us to receive your free template that will help you distill your organisation’s amazing work into these core areas, helping you explain your work in a way that works for your donors.
*Oxford English Dictionary