Pitchmaking Master Class for Local Community Groups
As Justin Maxson noted at the Community Forum about Transitioning Coal Communities, it is not a lack of ideas which hampers communities, rather having the skills and capacity to get those ideas into action. Increasingly grant makers are focusing on building capacity for this very reason, and one recent example of this, was the Pitch-making Masterclass held in Leongatha last Monday, 22nd May. This communications master class was kindly funded by the RE Ross Trust, with the aim of improving the skills of Gippsland based not for profit community groups to access funds. The RE Ross Trust asked both the Bass Coast Community Foundation and our Community Foundation to nominate community groups who would benefit and therefore the masterclass included two representatives from each of the Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool and the Mirboo North & District Community Energy Hub.
The Masterclass was run by The Funding Network or TFN whose focus is both building the capacity of grassroots organisations to tell their story, and holding live crowdfunding events at which donors give pledges to these organisations after their six minute pitch. Last Monday’s masterclass did not culminate with a crowdfunding event, but rather focused on harnessing the power of the storytelling, to help the participants pitch for funds for their organisations into the future.
The twelve participants represented a diverse range of organisations, including the MN Pool and the Energy Hub, but also Bass Coast Landcare, Barrier Breakers, Wonthaggi Youth Hub and the Morwell Neighbourhood house. It certainly made the introductory ice-breaker a varied and interesting session. The day-long event covered pitch making from every angle; the fundamentals of communication; how to manage the response; distilling your essence; finding your story; presentation strategies and managing nerves.
The participants from Mirboo North enjoyed the opportunity not only to hone their communication skills, but also to spend time distilling their messages and consider how best to tell their story. As pitch-coach Rob Irving said: “it’s not all about content, it’s all about stories!”.
Ian Southall noted that “at a time when the Energy Hub is engaging with the Community about developing a solar farm and other renewable energy projects, this course was very useful in helping us ensure our communication is clear and accessible”. Jodie Pincini added, “The pitch making workshop provided valuable insight on the key components to any pitch. It provided a framework that The Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool can adapt when we go out to the community seeking financial contributions for the pool redevelopment. It was a great opportunity and we are thankful for being offered the place in the class.”