| 4 min read

Impress Your Funders at Your Next Pitch!

So, you scored a spot in front of a funder and you’re ready to pitch. Great!

Now you have the task of preparing and you might be wondering just how you can up your game to create an opportunity that benefits you both. 

First, it’s really important for you to understand what someone needs to believe (a foundation, corporate partner, or individual) before they become a funder. 

These three beliefs are critical:

  1. They believe and trust in you as the leader
  2. They believe your work with create the change you are promising 
  3. They believe that they are the right type of person that does what they do too

Keep reading for a step-by-step plan to make sure you hit all three points and that this is your most amazing pitch yet. It’s time to get that “ simple yes” response.

First of all, it starts in your head. Projecting confidence will show and give your audience confidence in you as well.

one of the face to face fundraising tips is it all starts in your head by projecting confidence

So how do you get into the right mindset?

Doing a little bit of homework ahead of time will contribute to feeling a lot more assured. You’ll need to know these two main things for a perfect partnership: (1) the assets you bring to the table and (2) what they are looking for. 

List out the assets your organization can offer this donor specifically, it will help to secure what you’re able to share with them that’s to their benefit. 

Then find out what they need and what they’ve shown interest in gaining. You can find a way to be or provide the solution for this need, giving value they didn’t expect which sweetens the whole exchange.

Make sure to do your research ahead of time and map out what you think it is that they are currently needing (don’t worry, you will ask them about this in the meeting too!), especially based on what you can offer them. Online searches can reveal a lot of their interests, past partnerships, and upcoming events to paint a bigger picture for you. 

For example, if one of the assets you can share with them is a large email list, check in on their upcoming marketing needs to see how pairing together on an event or launch will get their company in front of your audience, sharing with them a trusting, warmer audience to expand their reach during that time.

Now that you have a good sense of who they are and what they need (I call this putting on your funder’s lenses) you’re ready to create your presentation.

fundraising checklist for your presentation should include the organization’s goals and any programmatic goals related to this partnership

In your presentation, it’s critical that you are specific about your: 

  • The organization’s goals and any programmatic goals related to this partnership 
  • What you DO and can do for them
  • What their money would go toward (what does it actually LOOK like)

If you’re vague here, you can lose their trust or confuse them… both paths that lead to a “no”.

This is not the time to hold back either, plan to share EXACTLY what you have in mind for your partnership. Put this on your slide deck and take the time to explain how this works in their favor.

Logistics play a role.

Speaking of slide decks, here are some general presentation tips to create a dynamic and exciting experience for you and your potential donor.

  • Stay in motion when presenting, don’t stay on one slide too long. 
  • Use fonts that are really easy to read…  it burns less brain calories for YOU and THEM!
  • Keep your video on even if you are showing slides, let them see your face.
  • Review to make sure your concepts are explained on a second grade reading level – this isn’t about ‘dumbing down your content’, it’s about making sure that big, hairy concepts are broken down in a simple way for CLARITY.
  • You don’t have to overly design your slides, simple can be better! 
  • Brevity is always appreciated when possible. 
  • Think of possible questions and add an FAQs section to handle possible objections before they come up.
  • Make sure you are stopping frequently to talk through any question they might have

Now that you’re ready to present, there’s one last thing to consider right before your meeting…

How you show up, matters the MOST. 

You might think you need to seem perfect, but you really just need to be able to say ‘I don’t know’ in a humble, yet confident way. It’s ok not to know it all, you’re a human after all.

Remember that your potential donors can FEEL your confidence and will react to your energy. Pump it up.

fundraising classes reminds you that your potential donors can feel your confidence and will react to your energy

Before my presentations I blast my hype music loud (Taylor Swift really gets me), dance around to get any nerves out, and I’ll always find myself in a confident headspace, knowing I’m providing a unique and beneficial opportunity. The presentations I do after are always my most energetic and positive, and I get the most positive feedback.

My advice here: create your own hype routine and make sure to schedule it into your day just before your meeting.

So there you have it, the ways you’re going to impress a potential donor at your next meeting. 

  1. Do your homework on your donor – align assets with what your donors are looking for
  2. Be clear and direct with your need and your ask 
  3. Keep the presentation engaging and clear with my logistics hacks 
  4. Show up with the energy that you want to attract 

I can’t wait for you to knock this one out of the park.

If you’re looking for more details on how to map your assets to confidently offer them the right way to all your potential donors, you’ll want to check out my FREE Webinar: How to Raise More from the Right Donors without Hounding Them. I teach you my proprietary method that results in 25% more donations on average, for those who apply them.

Click here to join others who want to fundamentally change the way they fundraise

For more of my favorite fundraising tips and tricks, check out my Resource page! Here, you can find relevant articles, webinars, quizzes, etc. about fundraising in the nonprofit sector. In addition, you can subscribe to What the Fundraising for ongoing conversations about how you can fundamentally change the way you lead and fundraise. And to learn how to raise more from the right funders using the Power Partners Formula, you are always welcome to join one of my free Masterclasses at malloryerickson.com/free.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Mastering Donor Retention

Donor retention is one of the most important aspects of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. Since nonprofits constantly seek to expand

Scroll to Top


Just put in your name and email to let the magic begin….

You're one step away from getting my favorite tools!

Just put in your name and email to let the magic begin….