Nonprofit leaders present their case to diverse audiences and for diverse reasons: to recruit board members, raise funds, inform the public or advocate for changes in policy. Effective leaders describe their organization’s purpose and its work in compelling, concise, authentic, and engaging ways. To do so, they must know their organization’s core elements well and be able to adjust their “pitch” to match their audience’s interests and knowledge. In this session, participants will develop, practice, and refine the core story of their organization and consider ways to adapt the core story for a funder audience. This session develops the ability of its participants to initiate a successful conversation with a funder and keep the funder engaged long term in the work of the organization.
By using lecture, videos, role playing, small group exchange, individual work, students will have an opportunity to learn about the core elements of a successful dialogue, view successful stories and present a ‘before’ and ‘after’ version of their organization’s story during this session. At the end of this session students will be able to:
- Identify the core elements of their organization’s story
- Succinctly convey the ‘essence’ of their organization to an external audience ---it’s mission, impact and value proposition
- Identify and address organizational weaknesses that detract from their story (programmatic, strategic, operational or financial gaps)
- Differentiate between a compelling and non-compelling story
- Gain insight into the perspective of a funder
Presenter: Kristen J. McCormack, Faculty Director, Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate Program, Boston University Questrom School of Business
Bio: Kristen McCormack has over 25 years of experience managing, leading and raising money for nonprofit organizations. Today, she is on the faculty of the Boston University Questrom School of Business, where she teaches nonprofit management, fundraising and organizational behavior and serves as the Faculty Director of the Boston University Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate Program. In addition to her teaching, McCormack serves as a Trustee of the Schrafft Charitable Trust in Boston and the Charles Hayden Foundation in New York.