What are the things successful fundraising materials have in common? Landing that big investment meeting is one of the big highlights if you own or work for a startup.
This is your moment to show investors what you have and why you are the best, through a compelling story. Your company is worth investing in, and good fundraising materials will help you achieve this.
Fundraising materials are a significant aspect of the fundraising process. Even if you have that billion-dollar idea and thousands of consumers on your list, that’s not enough.
If your presentation isn’t top-notch, you may not have the opportunity to get your brand to the level it deserves.
The purpose of your pitch and the materials you use is to make the investors feel like they will be missing an opportunity they can’t live without.
To be successful in getting the much-needed and deserved funding for your startup the key is to write an excellent pitch deck. Get appropriate supporting materials and practice your pitch until it’s perfect.
So, what are fundraising materials, and what do great ones have in common? Let’s explore them below.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
What Are Fundraising Materials and What Do They Have in Common?
You need materials to show investors who you are and why they should invest in you and your startup. It gives an accurate representation of where your company is, and its potential to be profitable and thriving in the future.
Fundraising materials are how you get the message across to investors. It must be engaging and tell a story about your business and the problems it solves in the market.
These are the fundraising materials every startup must have:
1. Investment pitch deck
It doesn’t matter what type of fundraising you need and from where; you will always need a pitch deck.
It is the most essential material you show up with at the meeting, whether it be in a boardroom with a venture capital company or private investors.
The biggest mistake startups make is designing a pitch deck that is too long and complicated. Instead, you need to make it with simplicity, high engagement, and a strong value proposition.
Your pitch deck shouldn’t have every detail about your company. However, to close the deal, your pitch deck must have the following fundamentals.
Read ahead for detailed information about the things fundraising materials have in common.:
- Introduction: Introduce yourself, your company, the name, and the tagline.
- The problem: Introduce the problem in the market you plan on solving and how you validate it.
- Consumer: Who is your target audience, and how do you plan on reaching them.
- Solution: What is the solution to the problem, and how does it relate to your product or service.
- Vision: What makes you different from the competition and explain why your startup exists.
- Market: What market are you targeting, the Total Available Market (TAM), and why are you different from the competition.
- Business model: What is the growth potential, how do you make money, and why your startup will work.
- Team: Who are you, and who are the people behind the company. Investors are investing in the people behind the business as well as the product. Therefore, this slide must only mention key people and their bios consisting of their experience.
- Summary: Do a short summary of all the major insights and statements, such as the growth potential, current traction, market size, and where your business fits into that market.
- Investment: How much money have you already raised, how much you still need, and what is in it for investors.
2. Business Plan
Another fundraising material that you must have. You shouldn’t try to start a business without one. While you don’t need many pages of information, you do need all the key ideas and projections you have.
Some venture capital firms may accept a one-page summary and one-page executive summary because your pitch deck and financial model are more than sufficient.
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The following must get included in your business plan:
- Description of the business: This includes the type of business, licensing and patents, and your management team.
- Product or service: A description of the product and the pricing structure.
- Marketing plan: Who is the consumer, how will you get the product out there, who are the competitors, and why are you better.
- Business marketing strategy: The strategy must include paid advertisements, selling methods, and publicity.
- Financial statements: You must include the startup costs worksheet, beginning balance sheet, break-even analysis, and sources of funds.
- Operations plan: This portion of the business plan includes the day-to-day operations, technology, and accounting operations.
- Executive summary: Found at the beginning of the business plan, your executive summary will engagingly summarize the entire plan to keep the investors reading.
Even as you’re learning more about the best pitch decks and their common features, here’s some added information. Check out this video on how to share information with investors. I have added some detailed information you’ll find helpful.
3. Marketing Materials
It doesn’t matter whether you are campaigning in public crowdfunding or have targeted investors in mind. You need various fundraising materials and may get asked for them.
Here is what gets included in marketing materials. Learn to identify what are the things fundraising materials have in common.
- Press releases: Show your credibility by being in the news and create trust with the public and investors.
- Content marketing: Start a website and post content such as podcasts, blogs, and articles.
- Scripts: It is important to hire a professional copywriter to develop email and DM content to send to investors and relevant people.
- Product demo: Having a prototype or images will help demonstrate a functional product and increase your chances of getting funding.
- Investor updates: Update investors, so they are experiencing the progress the company is making with you.
4. Investment Pitch
Your 20-30 minute presentation will determine whether you get funding or not. So, why should investors give you their money?
Your delivery is everything. If you aren’t confident and passionate about your product and what you are capable of, how would you expect your investors to be confident too?
Not only do you have to prepare a presentation speech, but you have to be ready for a FAQ. This is your moment, and you need to display passion and enthusiasm.
Your body language, clarity, and the way you present yourself are a show of proof that your startup is meant for success.
How do you go about impressing investors?
- Dress to impress: We have all heard this statement numerous times throughout our lives, but it is so important to do. Present yourself in a professional and in a way that shows you take this very seriously.
- Speak confidently: Speak clearly, be straightforward, and with total confidence.
- Tell a story: Involve the audience by asking questions and making them part of the plot.
- Practice: The best way to ensure you are well prepared for your presentation and questions is to practice repeatedly. Test your presentation with loved ones and peers. Ask them for constructive criticism and improve your pitch.
Keep in mind that in fundraising, storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
What Do Good Fundraising Materials Have in Common?
All the fundraising materials are interconnected. You can’t have one fundraising material without the other, and the information must never contradict each other.
Understanding the things fundraising materials have in common is critical. They all contain a summary, marketing strategy, financial statements, and growth potential.
Successful startups get the investors to care about their product and make them want to invest as it is a golden opportunity. You need to persuade them to donate their money and time. Here are the main commonalities of fundraising materials:
1. Fundraising materials have a good reason
Each one of the fundraising materials is designed for the same reason – to get funding. The reason is your new, growing startup.
But, just because you have a good reason doesn’t mean they will give you money. It must be well-articulated, so it is essential to convey the message accurately.
2. They appeal to the audience’s emotion
Each of the fundraising materials will aim to appeal to the emotions of the audience. Appealing to their emotions must be subtle, or it will come off as manipulation.
You can effectively do this by including the audience in your story. Ask them questions such as “has anyone in this room ever experienced…”, or have you ever felt…”.
It will show passion and form a connection between you and the audience.
3. All materials are direct
Each one of these fundraising materials relays its message clearly and to the point. You can use a conversational tone to make it personal, but you still want to get the facts straight.
It must be short and provide all of the necessary information for investors to make an informed decision.
4. They are short and sweet
While it may be tempting to share everything about your company, there are so many things they don’t want to hear or need to hear.
Therefore, the pitch, memo, and marketing materials must be short and sweet. The time can average 20-30 minutes and the pitch deck between 10-20 slides.
Learning to identify the things fundraising materials have in common can help you better present them.
5. They know their audience
It is crucial to know who the investors are and what they represent. So, before walking into any pitch meeting, do your research on the people sitting in your meeting room.
Are they inexperienced in the market you are breaking into? Will they understand technical terms, or will you have to break the concepts down?
What is it that they care about, and what are their motivations? By knowing your audience, you can adjust your pitch to suit them.
Not forming meaningful connections will only worsen your chances of receiving funding.
Tips for Your Fundraising Materials
In terms of your pitch deck, executive summary, marketing strategy, and business plan, there are a few essential points you always need to remember:
- Be clear and cover all the vital points. Don’t waste their time and avoid cramming a ton of content into each page or slide.
- Include visuals and infographics where needed to make it engaging and easy to understand.
- Always proofread your work. You can always hire a copywriter to go through the final copy of each set of documents to ensure there are no grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Errors can make your work look sloppy when they occur.
- Use the appropriate font size and style to make it easy to read and appealing.
- Your documents must be easily accessible. Make copies and have backups. You never know when you will meet an investor on the street or in a room, and they might ask for a copy of one or all of your materials.
Your fundraising materials will make or break your opportunity to land that big investment.
The pitch deck, business plan, marketing strategy, and presentation must show it was made with good reason, appeal to the audience’s emotion, and be to the point.
Your job is to develop a cohesive set of fundraising materials that are engaging to the audience. Come prepared and bring backups should you run into a potential investor.
Your fundraising might have just begun, or you are currently pitching your pitch deck. Remember to be yourself and show confidence in yourself and your company so they can have confidence in you too!
You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.