Fundraising Sales Pitch: Tips and Tricks

Tim Ahern | June 4, 2019

You’re passionate about the work you’re doing, as are the enthusiastic volunteers who help you raise money. But communicating that passion can be difficult, especially for those who aren’t skilled sales professionals. How do you pitch your nonprofit in a way that gets results?

The good news is, you can craft a prewritten sales pitch that your volunteers can use while they’re pitching to potential donors. Having that support will give them the extra confidence they need once fundraising begins. Here are some tips to help you create a sales pitch that gets results.

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Make It a Team Activity

Sure, your full-time staff can sit down and come up with a sales pitch, but why not make it a group activity? Invite your entire fundraising team, including volunteers, for a fun retreat-type activity and come up with a sales pitch. First, write out all the things that are likely to make someone donate to your fundraiser, such as how your money is used or the benefits of the products you’re selling. Then start writing the pitch as a group. You can even make a fun Mad Libs-type of game out of it.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you have your sales pitch in place, give everyone plenty of opportunities to practice. You may find that dividing into smaller groups will be more comfortable than having each person stand in front of everyone. Encourage participants to mark down suggestions for improvement, as well as praise for what they do well. It may be better to have everyone take the sales pitch home, practice a while, then come back to the group to practice in exchange for feedback.

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Encourage Individuality

It can be tempting to strictly stick to the prepared sales pitch. But personality can sell something far better than words on a piece of paper. Encourage each team member and volunteer to customize the pitch to fit their own conversational style. If someone feels that they’ll do better by completely changing up a sentence or two, go with it, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your brand messaging.

Consider Objections

The sales pitch itself is only the beginning. Your fundraisers will deal with plenty of objections when asked to give money or purchase an item. You can almost expect responses like, “All my donations go to cancer charities.” Come up with a list of likely objections and work as a group to devise responses to those objections. You’ll find you have more success when your fundraisers are equipped with all the information they need.

Reward Achievers

Seeing their progress toward your organization’s goals will likely serve as incentive enough for your team to work hard. However, it’s also important to recognize your top achievers. Keep a leaderboard that shows the top performers by dollar amounts. You’ll find volunteers work hard to move up on that leaderboard, bringing in more money for the organization as a result. At the end of fundraising season, host an event and recognize those who performed best with some type of prize or token.

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Using sales strategies, your fundraising efforts can see better results than ever before. This starts with a great sales pitch, but it’s just as important that you help your team rehearse and perfect their pitch before they present it to potential donors.