Wake Forest University’s business school is holding its 10th Annual Elevator Competition soon. Teams of MBA students have to pitch their business plans to venture capitalist judges during a two-minute elevator ride. The finalists then get to make a 20-minute presentation on their business plans, with the winners getting cash and prizes.

I first mentioned this competition on my blog back in 2006 and I’m still waiting for a foundation to replicate this in the nonprofit world! Hint, hint, those of you with good connections at foundations that care about nonprofit marketing!

While we are waiting, it’s a good idea to get your elevator pitch in fine form. To help you do that, I’m hosting a free webinar on February 4, 2009.

During “How to Write a Great Nonprofit Elevator Pitch,” I’ll share a few different formulas for putting your little spiels together. Then we’ll create a few versions of a pitch for three different participants and everyone will get to vote on which versions they like best. You’ll get instructions on how to submit yours as one of the three examples after you register.

This webinar will be similar to the ones I host every week in the Nonprofit Marketing Guide webinar series, so this is your chance to test-drive a webinar for free. You do need to register in advance, however.

FYI, here are a few tips I originally published here on the blog in 2006:

Don’t just repeat your mission statement. Mission statements are often “pie in the sky” or full of buzzwords that don’t actually say what you do.

Tell us what you do and who you do it for. Donors want to know how their support makes a difference on the ground.

Share a quantitative result. How many people did you help last year? How many acres did you save? Whatever it is you measure, throw in a stat about your accomplishments.

Provide some perspective. Put your work in context, in one sentence. Why is what you do so important? What’s the scale of the problem?

Spell out the opportunity. Complete this sentence: “With some additional resources, we could . . . “

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