The Perfect Pitch: Attract New Members in 60 Seconds


August 16, 2023

The elevator pitch is an essential tool in any organization's marketing arsenal for attracting new members. The idea behind the elevator pitch is simple: a brief description of your organization that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator (about 1-2 minutes). It needs to be engaging and informational so that prospective members know who you are but leaves room for curiosity. To create an effective elevator pitch, there are a few key elements you need to nail down.  

Know your story

The first step to crafting an elevator pitch is knowing your story. When working on your association's elevator pitch, come up with a few key points you want to emphasize: your history, your mission, and why you do what you do. All these elements are important because they help define who you are as an organization, which is crucial when crafting your own elevator pitch. 

Once you have those three main points down, you can work on finding ways of communicating them in just one sentence or phrase. For example: "Empowering entrepreneurs since 2001, we're a vibrant nonprofit community driving innovation, connections, and lasting success." Do this with each element of your story you want to incorporate and find what sticks. 

Understand your audience

Understanding who you’re speaking to is critical for a successful elevator pitch. If you want to get people's attention and keep them listening, it's crucial that you know exactly what drives them and what their specific needs are. 

Understanding what your target members hope to gain from hearing about your organization will help guide both the content and delivery so that nothing gets lost in translation. Take into consideration what type of organization you are and how you want to be perceived. For example, if you’re a STEM organization attempting to attract and engage professionals in fields such as math or science, it’s smart to include industry jargon and language that will resonate with potential members. This also builds trust amongst potential members if they feel as though you know who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about, reassuring them that you’ll be able to provide the connections and assistance they may be looking for.  

Be aware of attention spans

You have a short window to make a compelling case for why someone should join your organization, so it's important to get straight to the point. Your elevator pitch should be clear enough that anyone can understand it, regardless of their knowledge level or background in your field. 

Showcase why joining your association would be beneficial for them as an individual member, and also how they can help build an even stronger community through their involvement with the organization. In addition, an effective elevator pitch will demonstrate what makes your particular association unique compared with others within its industry. Potential members will want to know who you are and why they should be interested, not a lecture with general statements and vague selling points.  



It's important that no matter who you are within the association -- and where you are in public – that you have an elevator pitch ready to go. You never know who will be listening and could potentially become a new member of your association. And remember that you're not just selling yourself but your organization as well. So, don’t forget to emphasize the value your organization brings. 



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