“We work with the troops from the
moment they are injured to their
rehabilitation, recovery, and civilian life.”
MAKE THEIR PITCHES
See Jen Boyce (left), manager of social media at the Wounded Warrior Project, and
other nonprofit workers share their “elevator
speeches” in a video gallery:
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Using Facebook Can Help
Hone an ‘Elevator Speech’
ager at Woodbine, an advertising agency in Winston-Salem,
N.C. “The medium really forces
individuals and organizations
alike to communicate in a brief,
conversational style,” says Ms.
Boynton, who advises charities
on social-media strategy.
And while Twitter lends itself to sharing headlines, she
believes that Facebook, with its
420-character limit, is the ideal
venue in which to practice an elevator pitch.
“The format gives you room
for providing context and enlightening detail, while still demanding that you hurry up and
get to the point,” says Ms. Boynton.
Be prepared for follow-up questions. Kenneth Alexo,
director of corporate, foundation, and government relations
Continued from Page 25
at Drew University, has spent
years distilling his elevator
pitch down to a few key ingredients. He starts with a catchy introduction, meant to grab attention; moves to a pithy, memorable summary of a specific project
he hopes will interest a prospective donor; and wraps up with
a succinct statement about the
level of support that’s required
to see the project to fruition.
But perhaps the most essential element of the entire exchange, says Mr. Alexo, is anticipating the inevitable follow-up
question from a potential donor: Why should I support your
group, rather than some other place? “I know it’s coming,”
he says, “and the more I know
about the person I’m talking to
and their interests, the better
I’m able to answer that question.”
Hilton Prize Goes to Charity
That Aids Older People
FREDERIC COURBET/HELPAGE IN TERNATIONAL
The award: The Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize,
which annually recognizes an organization that works to alleviate human suffering
What the award is worth: $1.5-million
The winner: HelpAge International, an organization in
London that advocates for needy older people worldwide
Its work: The group organizes older people around the
world to get them involved in public-policy debates about issues such as climate change and health care.
Why the group won: Judy Miller, director of the Hilton
Humanitarian Prize, says HelpAge won in part because of
growing attention to the needs of older people. Judges for
the prize viewed the applicant’s program “as often the only
voice for older people in society,” she says. “Before HelpAge,
older people were left out of most international policies.”
Plans for the future: Richard Blewitt, chief executive of
HelpAge International, says he hopes the increased visibility from the prize will attract entrepreneurs and investors to
his organization’s causes. “We want to use it to help continue to build a movement for older people around the world, so
their voice can be heard, they have confidence, and are able
to negotiate improvements in services,” he says.
A key goal: “The gap between what older people need in
terms of basic health care in countries like Tanzania or
Cambodia is absolutely shocking,” says Mr. Blewitt. “We
want to try and help governments and civil-society organizations and entrepreneurs find solutions—cheap solutions—
to make sure that people don’t get a medical problem. It not
only impoverishes their lives, it impoverishes the lives of the
families they live with.” —CAROLINE BERMUDEZ