We have all been there. Those long unbearable long lines just standing at the move theatre, to be seated at a restaurant, to ride an amusement ride, go to through airport security.

I am not sure exactly which of those I was standing in, but there I was, waiting with several dozens of my “closest” friends waiting. I struck up a conversation with my nearby line mates.

After exchanging pleasantries and sharing our thoughts about the incompetence of those who were responsible for the long line, our conversation turned to other topics.

I shared that I was a non-profit professional who works with a variety of different kind of groups handling a myriad of organization challenges. That sparked interest from one person nearby who was on the board of an association that needed some professional assistance.

Since we had the time, I prodded him to describe the situation. His tale of woe fit well with what the certified and experienced professionals at Non-Profit Help do.

I gave him the quick NPH elevator speech (that describes succinctly what we do) and then reached into my wallet and pulled out a business card. Now, these are no ordinary cards.

Besides have the usual company logo, name, contact info, etc., these NPH business cards fold out to give a short description of what services are offered and who may benefit. Basically, it is an elaboration of my elevator pitch, just longer and in writing.

My new found friend took the card and slips it into his wallet thanking me for the information. He adds that he would share our brief contact with the Executive Committee and may be back in touch.

By the time I returned to my office a few days later, I had an email from him asking me to meet with his fellow officers. That meeting led to a proposal and presentation and shortly thereafter, NPH had a new association with which to partner.

On another occasion, I was handling the logistics of a day long seminar for a non-profit where attendees were going to work on building their businesses. The seminar leader started out by asking everyone to give him a business card. Of the 70 people present, only 13 had a card to give. He then asked the very obvious question, “Why were the remaining 53 not interested in building their business?”

No matter if you are trying to recruit new members, getting people to volunteer, or finding additional help, you have to be armed with two things: your Elevator Pitch which explains why your group is so important in what it does and your Business Card which allows people you meet to follow up.

We meet so many people in life. They have so many possible connections from which your non-profit may benefit. By reaching and giving them a way to remember you, can and will lead to many unexpected but beneficial places for help.

So before you go out today, even if it just to shop or to church or to the grocery store, what are you going to put in your pocket or wallet?

That’s right…Business Cards!

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