The last week of May I was with every other cause marketer (including folks from For Momentum!) at the annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago. We all listened to a lot of great presentations, and I delivered one of my own. But the highlight of the conference was the Perfect Pitch Contest, which had three top cause marketers competing to give the best pitch on the nonprofit Citizen Schools to a potential corporate partner.
But all the presentations were really good, and very instructive on how we should pitch a good cause to businesses. Here’s a link to the Cause Marketing Forum’s key take-aways. And, here’s what I learned.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
All of the speakers talked as much if not more about the rewards the company would reap if they partnered with Citizens Schools. The pitches were win-win and work-work. Both organizations would benefit from the partnership, but each had to commit to the other’s success. None of the speakers asked for a handout, and neither should you.
EMOTION, EMOTION, EMOTION
All of the pitches were wrapped, dipped and sealed in emotion. But not your typical nonprofit appeal with lots of sadness and tears. Each presenter appealed to the prospect’s values and passions. The focus was on making them feel the power and purpose behind the partnership. The lesson for you is that there are other emotions to tap besides what I call the three S’s: sadness, sympathy and shame. There’s a whole spectrum of emotions to choose from – pick one.
MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD
From each presentation I got a sense of hope and power that good works. Neither partner wanted a transactional relationship that was tit-for-tat. Each was striving for something better, something meaningful.
I wish every cause and company in America could have watched these three speakers in the Perfect Pitch Contest. There was no pitch, just passion. No contest, but cooperation. It was perfect.