Want your fundraising deck to be effective? Tell a story.

How to create successful fundraising decks-03

Fundraising in today’s market is tough – the competition for capital is fiercer than ever and if you want to win, you need to prove to investors why they can trust you. A fundraising deck is the first opportunity to accomplish this. But not all decks are created equal. In fact, most of them sound and look the same, and herein lies the opportunity to try a new approach.

Our fundraising decks are way more than just the usual data dump about your company. Our decks tell a story. And they do so in a way that’s clear, concise, visually appealing, and relevant to investors.

In the age of never-ending content and information coming at us from all angles daily, and the shortened attention spans we all have as a result, a good story can still have real staying power. You may not remember what you did this morning, but you’ll never forget the plot to your favorite novel or film, or that outrageous story your neighbor told you last week. Chances are that’s because those stories tapped into a problem you were facing or a reality in your own life.

Here’s how to take a story-centric approach with your next fundraising deck:

  • Define and get to know your target investor. In order to be effective, your deck needs to connect with your target audience. But how do you make sure it will? Start with your ideal investors and work your way backwards. Find out what their pain points are, what they value, and what keeps them up at night. Also, keep in mind that different types of investors have different needs. A family office will be different from an institutional investor, for example. The information you glean from this initial research will inform the overall approach of the deck.
  • Present your problem statement. Every great story starts with a problem. What’s a problem you see investors facing that will strike a cord at the onset of the deck? By presenting this up front you can immediately connect with investors and show you understand their needs and pain points. By acknowledging their biggest stressors you lay the foundation for the trust you’re aiming to instill. It also tees you up nicely to unveil how the solution lies in investing in you and your firm.
  • Lead with the benefit/value. How is your firm addressing the problem you’ve presented? What are your areas of focus and the type of companies you hope to invest in? Make it about your audience, not you. What will they get out of investing with you? What’s in it for them? This will help establish alignment with your audience (if you’ve done your homework on them, of course).
  • Establish your key differentiator. Chances are you will not be the first person or firm to pitch something similar to your target investors, so why should they invest in you? What’s different about your approach from other firms? This could be anything from your investment philosophy to the way you guide your portfolio companies.
  • Provide proof. No one loves numbers more than investors. What metrics can you share to show progress and projected ROI? Are there case studies that can provide tangible examples of your firm’s ability to successfully forecast? The closer the example to the target audience, the better. If you’re new and don’t have these, lean on the expertise of you and your team from previous firms.
  • Highlight your people. Investors aren’t just investing in a firm – they’re also investing in your company and the people behind it. This is a chance to show off the caliber of your team. What tangible achievements and expertise do they bring to the table?
  • Make it visually stunning: Many investment companies don’t put much effort in their deck designs – and it shows. But a great design can differentiate you from other firms out there, highlight your unique personality as a firm, and is an (often missed) opportunity to shine. Your deck should have a consistent, on-brand design that utilizes your company logo, colors, and fonts, and uses visuals, infographics and charts that support the narrative throughout it. This can help make things easier to comprehend and truly memorable.
  • Prepare a pitch to go with the deck. Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have a solid pitch (that that leads with the value statement is paramount) for when you present your deck. Try to engage rather than talk at, the investors you’re pitching. Many companies make the mistake of going into fundraising with the mindset of “here’s everything about us.” While this is important to give context, it’s a balance and should be framed in a way that will benefit the audience.

A fundraising deck that has a solid narrative and weaves a good story throughout it has the potential to differentiate you from the crowd, highlight your strengths, instill confidence, and can even spin what may be perceived weaknesses in a positive light, ultimately helping you beat out the competition.

If you need help creating and crafting the perfect fundraising deck, Sublime Designs Media is here to help, just reach out at [email protected].