Guide to Pitching Your Idea

Guide to Pitching

How to Woo Funders and Supporters

Contents

 

香蕉视频appChangemakers.com is the place where you can easily broadcast the most current and compelling version of your pitch for social change. Think of it as a stage for you to connect with your audience of would-be partners, investors, and fans—where you share your ambitions and progress.

香蕉视频appTo get the most from your audience, you've got to give a strong pitch! A pitch is all about defining your vision and selling it. Keep it straightforward. Give the simplest explanation in the most concise way. But let your personality shine through, because your audience is interested in you, the innovator, not just your ideas.

香蕉视频appEasy, right? We know it’s not, and we want to help. Drawing on decades of experience in reviewing ideas for social change from around the world, we boiled down the pitch into 7 core questions found here. Put your best foot forward by answering them, and make people understand your vision, and why they should support your work!

Explore additional resources at the extended guide to changemaking resource here: http://3333rp.com/learning

 

 
1. Problem

Every innovation exists to address a problem. For this reason, framing the problem is crucial to show how your solution is an effective fix.

Here are three key points to framing a social problem, and, by extension, the need for your solution:

  1. Address why it is important to solve the problem. Do not assume that your audience understands why it needs to be solved.
  2. Describe the population that is affected by the problem and the target for your solution. Be sure to give the size of the target population. (Look at Juntos Finanzas and Mobile-izing Health Information for Women and Girls for examples.)
  3. Focus on the nature and characteristics of the problem. A problem has root causes, and it has symptoms that harm society. Are you targeting the symptoms? Or are you targeting the root causes? Hint: The best solutions aren't band-aids. (Check out ICT Solution for JANMA Clean Birth Kit for a great example of how to address the multiple facets of a problem.)
 
2. Solution

 

香蕉视频appAfter you’ve framed the problem, define your solution to show how your innovation addresses it. Consider doing the following to give a clear, compelling model of your solution:

  • Provide proof that it works. Has your solution been validated? Has your solution already had a positive impact on the problem? You can elaborate on this more in the Impact section. (Check out Open Africa and Global Press Institute: Digital journalism for women in the developing world for examples.)
  • If your innovation is in the “idea stage,” then there’s no real impact to speak of ... yet. Help us imagine in detail the projected impact of your idea.
  • Show how your solution is unique, fresh, or groundbreaking! When compared with alternatives, your solution is tackling the problem in a new or improved way. (See DUMA - The Future of Hiring in Emerging Markets.)
  • Illustrate step-by-step how your solution produces the intended social impact. This is crucial to understanding how your solution works! (Look at how ADEL - Local Economic Development Agency does it.)
  • Highlight how your solution works within its applied context.
 
3. Example

香蕉视频appYou know your solution is making the lives of your target population better or you wouldn’t be creating this innovation. Help us better understand how it improves peoples' lives by walking through an example. Explain your example so clearly and simply that a child could understand it.

If your solution is still in the “idea stage” and hasn’t had a measurable impact yet, consider providing a hypothetical example.

In Other Words, Tell us a Story

Telling a story is a powerful way to show your solution in action. When you tell a story, try to do so from the perspective of your target population. Explain how your work improves their lives and how things might be different without your innovation. This narrative will help people better understand the complex problem you are tackling and imagine the impact of your solution. Check out A Changemaker's Eight-Step Guide to Storytelling香蕉视频app for more tips and resources on creating effective stories.

 
4. Impact

Describing your impact to date is how you can answer the persistent question: “Yeah, but does it really work?” Talk about how your solution works in two ways:

  • Quantitatively: If possible, use numbers to measure your impact (e.g., in three years, more than 235 people have been helped). What indicators are you using to gauge your success? Put those numbers in context (e.g., 59 percent of those helped are now helping others). Explain why the indicators you choose are appropriate. (See eAcademy for Conscious Change for an example.)
  • Qualitatively: A great solution has impact beyond the numbers. Talk about how the social landscape is changed for your beneficiaries. An exceptional solution uplifts spirits and empower those affected by the problem to seek their own solutions. (See Mobile-izing Health Information for Women and Girls and B2R to Create Livelihood for Rural Youth.)

香蕉视频appEven if you haven’t had a huge impact yet, demonstrate your potential! It helps to have measurable impact to show that your idea works, but if you haven’t had the chance to put your work into action, just tell us why you know it will matter. There’s a reason why innovation can be labeled as “Idea Stage”: people are interested in great ideas, and Changemakers helps turn ideas into action. Remember, revolutionary impact always starts as an idea!

 
5. Marketplace

香蕉视频appWhen you think of the marketplace for a particular good, the big players come to mind first. When you think about Internet services, for example, you’ll probably think of Facebook or Google. You may not be the Google of your market, but that doesn’t mean you don’t understand your market, the big players, and how your innovation and your strategy fit into it.

香蕉视频appIn talking about the market, the strongest pitches do four things:

  1. Address the elephant(s) in the room. Talk about how you will interact with the big players in your market (e.g., if you are in microfinance, talk about how you compare with the Grameen Bank, Kiva, or other big players). People love the little guy who disrupts the market for the big players. Be specific. (See Micro Benefits: Micro Credit for the Next 300 Million for a strong analysis.)
  2. Explain how you might interact with the other players in the market. Changemakers is about collaboration (it’s why we exist!) so don’t be afraid to mention that you are working with others, or have a vision to do so, even if they are seen as “competitors” with your work. (Look at Local Lenders of Knox County.)
  3. Explain how you fit into this marketplace. What are you doing differently than the other players in the market? Are you reaching a previously untapped part of market? What’s your unique competitive advantage?
  4. Demonstrate your knowledge of the marketplace for your work by briefly explaining its characteristics and any unique challenges it presents.
 
6. Sustainability

Tell people how you plan to sustain your work. Everyone knows a project needs money to keep it running. Do you rely on donations? Does your model include revenue generation? Does it involve training others to take your model and replicate it? Or is it something else entirely?

And don’t be modest. If you have grand plans to scale your work, tell us how you’ll do it, even if you are still working on putting that plan into action.

 
7. Team

Build your Team

Get your team members to join us on Changemakers.com! If they create a profile, people can check out the other problem solvers on your team. Every team member brings valuable connections that might help build your support network.

Your Founding Story

Everyone loves a good origin story. People want to know how a great idea is born. Your “aha!” moment can help others understand why you are so invested in your mission, how you came up with such an innovative solution, and hopefully make them care about it, too. (Check out Juntos Finanzas's Founding Story.)

Your audience will be more engaged by hearing a founder tell a story than if they read the written version. Take advantage of your ability to put multimedia on Changemakers—make a short video about your story, write a song, create an infographic, or surprise our community with something different. Check out A Changemaker's Eight-Step Guide to Storytelling for more tips and resources on creating effective stories.

 

 

 

 

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香蕉视频appOur company started with the stories of night shift janitors who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, who shared with us how hard it was to make any progress towards their own financial aspirations. Mainstream personal financial management (PFM) products like Mint.com are unable to serve families like this if they do not use online banking or transact with plastic. As a result the industry has largely abandoned huge markets of people who are often trying the hardest to manage their family finances, week by week:

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In the U.S., 106M adults are still “cash-preferred.” 26% of U.S. households (and 47% of all Hispanic households in the U.S.) are un- or underbanked. Outside of the U.S., in developing nations, the World Bank estimates that 64% of adults are unbanked.

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香蕉视频appEvery day, about 800 women die in pregnancy or childbirth from complications that are entirely preventable. The majority of the world’s population lives in poverty, lacking basic sanitation and nutrition, and most pregnant women will never see a doctor. At the same time, paradoxically, the last few decades have seen dazzling progress in technology, and today two thirds of the world’s population has access to a mobile phone. This begs the question of how we can better take advantage of this burgeoning technology to provide practical, culturally sensitive information to women to make pregnancy and birth safer. How can we support women and girls to take control of their own health – and take ownership of these new digital technologies?

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In India, 80% of healthcare facilities are in urban areas, while 72% of the population lives in rural regions, grossly limiting women’s access to basic maternal healthcare. The JANMA Clean Birth Kit provides healthcare workers in low-resource settings with all the components recommended by the World Health Organization for a safe birth. However, despite JANMA’s success in terms of product sales, low-resource healthcare providers (LHPs) are not being adequately trained on the importance of clean birth, or proper use of JANMA. Due to bureaucracy in Indian health facilities, training opportunities are offered to upper-level medical staff, not the LHPs actually using the birth kit. The large scale social impact AYZH is capable of achieving is compromised by this critical “training gap.”

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香蕉视频appOpen Africa brings all the stakeholders within a given area - accommodation, artifact makers, guides, storytellers, service providers, and suppliers together within a collaborative managed collective. [...] So far 62 routes have been established across six countries, positively influencing the lives of 35,634 rural people directly (178 170 indirectly if you consider the families of those helped), joining together 2,161 participant small businesses with 33,473 employees.

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Using digital technology, GPI educates, employs, and empowers women in the developing world through the practice of professional journalism. GPI offers women a unique training-to-employment opportunity that builds the skills necessary for success in professional journalism – including reporting, digital literacy, ethics, and advanced writing – and then provides them with long-term employment as journalists. GPI reporters are paid a living wage to cover every aspect of life, politics, society, and culture in their communities.

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香蕉视频appGPI operates news desks in 25 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and has trained and employed more than 130 women. Their stories – generally 1-2 each month per reporter – are published on GPI’s newswire and are syndicated to more than 50 news outlets around the world, ranging from small, local language outlets to major news agencies such as the BBC, Reuters, and UPI.

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DUMA is a text-message based job-matching service that connects short-term laborers with potential consumers in real time, through the click of a button on a basic cell phone. We are the ideal matchmaking system for jobs, in markets where employers value trust above all during the hiring process. Our unique software pairs employers with job seekers that they are socially connected to (a friend of a friend of a friend) in their city who has the skills they are looking for. All this can occur in seconds and on a basic mobile phone. MOBILE DEVICE, NOT COMPUTER: Our text messaging system makes DUMA the most accessible platform for workers and customers without access to broadband. REAL-TIME, NO LAG TIME: For short-term jobs, people demand pre-screened matches to begin working immediately. SKILL MATCHING + SOCIAL MATCHING: Trust is a huge component of hiring in emerging markets. DUMA adds value to a job search engine by incorporating a reference network into its matching system.

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香蕉视频appTo provide knowledge, Adel is building the Youth Entrepreneurship Training Center, where it will do training workshops and offer practical learning areas, such as laboratories and experimental areas. During training sections, youth will learn about efficient farming techniques, managerial tools and business and marketing planning and management. They`ll have full support to identify opportunities to build their innovative and creative business models and plans. The training sections happen applying the pedagogy of alternation – youth stay one whole week in the training center and then stay another three weeks in their rural properties, studying and developing their projects, with ongoing technical assistance from a team of tutors.

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香蕉视频appTo provide credit, Adel launched the Vereda Fund, with three credit lines to young entrepreneurs: (1) advised credit to rural businesses; (2) advised credit to rural start ups (seedfunding) and (3) credit by angel-investors (investors chose specific businesses). Adel is also planning to launch a crowdfunding platform. To provide collaborative networks and technologies, Adel is implementing Community Communications and Information Centers in communities that don’t have access to Internet or even telephone. Adel is also building a social network for youth entrepreneurs, where they`ll connect themselves, exchange solutions and discuss about common challenges. It’ll be also an online tool for training and technical support.

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香蕉视频appSafe Pregnancy and Birth gives pregnant women and their families the information they need to be advocates for healthy pregnancy and birth. It also gives health workers, midwives, and others a reference and tool to communicate with pregnant women about their health.

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For example, a community health worker (let’s call her Rosa) visiting a pregnant woman (Mira) could use the app to discuss how to stay healthy during pregnancy. Looking at illustrations and friendly language about eating well, they might discuss their favorite local foods. Rosa could follow step-by-step instructions to check Mira’s temperature, blood pressure, the position of the baby, and other signs. If Rosa noticed high blood pressure, she would be guided to learn about pre-eclampsia and check for other signs of this dangerous disease. If she determined that Mira had severe pre-eclampsia, the app would prompt her to urgently get medical help, and provide information for how to handle seizures if they occur on the way to care. The Safe Pregnancy and Birth app, in the hands of women like Rosa and Mira, becomes a tool for health and empowerment, offering clear, practical information and valuing the knowledge both women already have. The app is also a product of Hesperian’s unique field-test model: community groups around the world provide feedback and shape design and content so that the final materials will meet their needs. As we continue to test and improve the app, we will work with other mHealth groups to advocate for applying this sort of people-centered approach to developing technology for health.

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Neto Ribeiro, 29 years old, has returned from the state capital to his home community, where he was trained by Adel, got a US$ 4,000 loan and still being supported by Adel`s team to start a poultry raising business. He had no income and today has a US$ 600 monthly income. He brought his family to work with him and is expanding his business to new areas, such as honey production and organic eggs. He is a leader, a decision-maker in his community and a role model for local youth.

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香蕉视频appSince 2006, GG has led our Academy for Conscious Change in Rwanda, an 18-month hands-on social venture incubator to help marginalized women launch their own micro-NGOs. One of our ventures in rural Rwanda is a team of 19 women, only 7 of whom are literate. Their issue was women who were being forced to trade sex for water delivery because they were blind, pregnant, disabled or too weak to collect it themselves from a valley 3 miles downhill. The team built a clean water venture to serve 100 households, ensuring free water for vulnerable women. After 4 years, they have expanded to 3 new sites and now serve an estimated 6000 people, sustainably. To date, our 300 graduates are operating 21 organizations. This year we will expand to Northern Uganda, train 85 women and girls and launch another 5-15 ventures. In the last 3 years, we have received requests from 200 women’s groups in 45 countries seeking to participate in our programs. The eAcademy is our solution to serving this demand.

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Since the Safe Pregnancy and Birth mobile app was released for iPhone in January 2012, and for Android four months later, it has been downloaded over 10,000 times in 126 countries. Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Kanato Bo writes:

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香蕉视频app"Wonderful - Fantastic and helpful! Hesperian should make more of these. I work in rural communities in Guatemala and feel much more prepared with this simple guide!"

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香蕉视频appWe have already received a number of requests to adapt the content for different platforms and languages, a demonstration of need for this type of product.

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Quantitative Impact:

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  • In a span of 3 years over 235 rural youth have been trained and successfully employed
  • 9% of the rural youth employed have been successfully groomed to take leadership roles (supervision, training, middle management roles)
  • B2R’s team includes more than 51% women.
  • 25% of the middle management team constituted by women
  • 15 clients in 36 months.
  • For every 1 person directly impacted by employment, at least 3 others are being indirectly economically impacted (due to trickle down of purchasing power etc).
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香蕉视频appQualitative Impact:

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  • Positive Impact to economic ecosystem
  • Enhanced confidence of youth and their perception in the community
  • Increased local employment options leading to reverse migration
  • BPO services to companies at a significant cost advantage while retaining comparable levels of quality and service delivery.
  • Economic growth has resulted in increased consumption in local eco-system.
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Currently, there are no direct competitors in the Chinese market for MB’s unique blue collar micro credit and discount network programs. Other large local employee benefits companies, such as CIIC or FESCO, are white collar-oriented and have significantly higher price points.

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香蕉视频appThere are foreign NGOs that serve the migrant worker community by providing after-school homework programs for migrant children or short courses on financial planning for adults. We have been in contact with some of these NGOs to explore collaboration on our educational programs to enrich our product lines.

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While Local Lenders does not have any immediate competitors, there are a number of organizations that act as peers in providing support to local farmers in Knox County. These are; the Knox County Local Food Council, Rural Life Center at Kenyon College, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. These organizations are also working to promote local food systems and sustainable agriculture in Knox County. They differ from Local Lenders in that they do not provide business education/ counseling and they do not collaborate with local banks to give farmers the opportunity to advance to a program that offers a substantial amount of loans. Instead, these organizations create markets for local food and use education, scholarships, and public projects to promote sustainable food systems. By partnering with these organizations, Local Lenders will gain insight into expressed needs within the farming community, have a base from which it can connect with potential borrowers, and have a channel through which it can disseminate information about LL to the community in Knox County.

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香蕉视频appJuntos began as a class project: my team worked with night shift janitors on campus to prototype tools that would help immigrants with their personal finances. It was a great project, but when the academic quarter ended everyone went their own way. An entire year went by, yet something about that project remained unresolved for me - it always stayed in the back of my mind. I reached out to the janitors again. When they arrived, one of them, Karina, told me she had used the tools we had created to track her money over the year, and had saved over $2,000. Seeing her face and what that meant to her, the changed sense of self that she felt, I knew in my core that I had to work on it more - that there was something here that was deeply important and meaningful. That was the moment that launched us into developing the products that eventually evolved into what we do today.

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