As you begin your venture, writing a strong fundraising pitch for your faith-based startup should be at the top of your “to do” list.
If you want to skip ahead, here are the 4 components of a solid pitch:
When people ask you questions about your passion venture, do you have quick answers that easily flow? Don’t assume that you’ll have the time or capacity to explain your venture when the opportunity arises. Instead, create a solid pitch.
Curating a pitch can be a holdup for leaders who often want to stick to the to-do list, but this task should be at the top. It’s foundational to your fundraising efforts and will also tell people why they should follow as you pursue your venture.
A great pitch will build trust, share information and inspire.
Here, we’ll talk through the main components of a pitch, and then we’ll share our signature process for creating your venture’s best pitch.
A strong pitch will appeal to both the accountant and the artist and give you the information and motivation you need before making a (hypothetical) sizable donation. It doesn’t just appeal to the head but also the heart of the listener.
This mini-presentation will help you appeal to people who want to join your cause or contribute to your work, leaving them ready to ask, “how can I help?”
What’s the unique problem you’re addressing? You’ll need to convince the listener that —
Persuasion is done most effectively through the power of story. For example:
You present a compelling, clear picture of the day-to-day life of a person who is experiencing difficulty and needs help. Talk about Mary’s living conditions and employment struggles, giving necessary details to help the listener feel connected to Ruth. Walk through the elements of her day, pointing out the trials she experiences.
What happens next is powerful. The listener finds themselves:
Finally, at the end of an effective pitch, the listener is on the edge of his seat, ready to ask how he can help all the Marys achieve their dream.
Fundraising for faith-based startups begins by connecting with your listeners through pain points.
After Mary, donors need to be introduced to you and your team.
Supporters and teammates need to believe that you’re capable of producing results and doing something about this pain that’s been highlighted. They might ask:
It’s essential to be clear about your assets and liabilities, like past failures, successes, experience, and expertise. People aren’t looking for perfect leaders but adaptable, humble, creative ones.
When creating your team, think beyond your friends, colleagues, and church members. To fully understand where your venture fits into the life of Mary and her community, consult with her regularly and consider giving her a voice on your team. Who can speak with more authority about the pain experienced than Mary herself?
What’s your solution to the pain point highlighted in Section 1? What am I giving Mary that addresses her problem in a tangible way?
Pastor Rob Bailey from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston set out to plant a church in Clear Lake, Texas. He knew the ultimate product he was bringing people was the message of Jesus. But how? Rob and his team were determined to create a church that would be the hands and feet of Jesus in the community. Rob detailed the work of his team:
“The Clear Lake region was devastated by the events of Hurricane Harvey, so we identified a local neighborhood where 99% of its homes were completely flooded,” Rob explained. “We planned and hosted a special, free event, for the families who live there, as a way to connect with them and see how we could best serve them.” To engage the families, the team “had bounce houses for kids, served Chick-fil-A lunches, and set up a welcoming outdoor space for residents to sit and share their stories with us.”
As a result of Rob and the team’s work, they obtained contact information from 35 families who needed help. From there, the team delivered sheetrock, furniture, and other household needs to homeowners. Rob called the experience “amazing” as the team started the process of helping displaced families build a home again.
Rob and his team knew the product they had to offer, and they were willing to find creative ways to provide it to those who needed it within their target community.
Fundraising for this faith-based startup in Houston was boosted by producing clear solutions to the pain points previously addressed.
Sorting through funding during a crisis? Check out Funding Solutions for Crisis Situations
Overselling your dream won’t help you in the long run. Instead, provide a realistic but hopeful vision of the future. Fundraising for faith-based startups must include a clear picture of what’s to come, thanks to your enterprise.
Specifically, what will Mary’s life look like once your passion project produces results and brings her your product? Clearly state how your team will solve Mary’s struggle.
By communicating your awareness of potential pitfalls and the backup plans you’ve devised, you will gain respect and support from potential clients, donors, and supporters.
Next, we’ll share our codified method for composing your unique pitch. Here’s the 2-part breakdown:
Your headline is one sentence that clearly states who you are and what you do, like a mission statement for people who have no idea about your venture.
By the way, you’re not alone if you find the 144-character limit difficult. But we’ve found that churches and businesses who keep to that boundary create a concise, compelling headline for their pitch.
The three characteristics below your headline give you a moment to explain your project’s uniqueness and the innovative way the presented problem will be solved.
We can’t emphasize enough the power of a strong pitch or the value of having it easily accessible to you. For example, Pastor Andy Ritchie in Lakeland, Florida, was ready to give his pitch at just the right time, and the results were terrific.
Pastor Andy Richie and his team had a passion for nourishing families in their community. There was plenty of fresh food available, but no way to store it in such large quantities.
They fulfilled their mission by taking perishable produce, meats, and dairy products directly from the food source to impoverished neighborhoods. It saved money, helped families and people who lack transportation, and demonstrated God’s love tangibly.
Andy said, “During our three-day StartNew training, we were taught to write our pitch. And then, about nine months ago, a guy inquired about how the food pantry was going. After I went through our pitch with him, he said, ‘Well, I want to buy you a truck.’”
Thanks to that well-curated pitch, Moving Hope was provided with the most critical component to their project: a diesel truck.
Like Andy’s story demonstrates, a thoughtful, clear pitch can pay for itself. It’s through this engaging presentation that supporters will begin to dream alongside you.
Give them a clear opportunity to be a part of the solution.
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful as you’ve set to work designing your pitch.
If you need more help building, funding, or launching your venture, get started with our complete, self-paced StartNew Course.
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