Skip to main content

Testimonials from Knight Foundation Grantees and Staff

“It was enlightening and refreshing to come away with new ideas in such a short amount of time. Thank you!”
Suzanne Graham, President, Downtown Akron Partnership

“The only way is up on this elevator pitch session. It was fun and elevating skills hidden within to maximize the pitch I have used with donors to now use on the team I work with.”
Milan Balinton, Executive Director, African American Community Service Agency

“In just one hour Marc was able to inspire new ideas and refine my well-worn pitch by providing a fresh perspective and challenging me to take a bird’s-eye view of my organization’s goals.”
Nicholas Richberg, Managing Director, Miami New Drama

“Marc was amazing in getting me to understand the importance of getting right to the point in a creative and appealing way!”
Karla Redding-Andrews, VP/Executive Director, Otis Redding Foundation

“The training felt very personalized to my needs. In just an hour, I learned several easy ways to significantly improve my presentations.”
Leigh Henderson, Managing Director, Teatro Visión

“It was wonderful training, very Hands-On, with the knowledge of someone who is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of fundraising and organizations.”
Michel Hausmann, Artistic Director, Miami New Drama

“After the training, I feel much more confident to approach anyone, particularly donors.”
Rodrigo Garcia, Artistic Director, Teatro Visión

“I was able to determine where my pitch needed improvement, speaking more actively about the importance of my business rather than assuming the listener doesn’t know or hasn’t heard of it.”
Mikhaile Solomon, Executive Director, Prizm Projects, Inc.

“I found his take on connecting abstract concepts, personal experience, and concrete examples a very helpful way to frame speaking points.”
Jason Su, Executive Director, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy

“His instruction provided much needed direction as to how to hone the argument, key details to include, and how to deliver the presentation.”
Robert Pesich, President, Poetry Center San Jose

“Marc taught me that I needed to start with the part of the speech that I was using at the end. He taught me that if I start with something unique about our news organization people will pay attention to the rest of the story.”
Hilda Gurdian, Publisher, La Noticia

“You helped put into words our superpowers and how we can distinguish ourselves from others. The steps you provided can be used in many scenarios. Thank you.”
Trami Cron, Executive Artistic Director, Chopsticks Alley Art

“By the end of the hour, I felt prepared to create a more compelling upcoming presentation to a potential big funder.”
Megan Fluke, Executive Director, Green Foothills

“Marc’s insights are exceptionally productive in a very short amount of time. “
Kevin Cadette, Executive Director, Black Angels Miami

“This one hour training helped me get out of my own way and hone in on the core essence of what people need to know to be able to say ‘yes.'”
Munro Richardson, Executive Director, Read Charlotte

“Marc was engaging, thoughtful and very specific in his feedback. An hour later, I feel more prepared and confident engaging with potential donors.”
Clint Hill, Chief Development Officer, United Way of Central Carolinas

“I’ve come across a number of prompts and exercises for this type of skill building but the Framework provided in this training was hands down the best.”
Julie Hutcheson, Director of Impact, Green Foothills

“This was a quick learning and optimization tool that has allowed me to think about my pitch differently, tweaking the minutiae enough that at the end the aggregated whole pitch made much more coherent sense with a solid ask.”
Nathan Ulsh, Director of Policy and Operations, San Jose Downtown Association

“It’s amazing how much we accomplished in two one hour sessions. I feel more confident about presenting myself and my work in meetings and over the phone!”
Teleia White, Director of Individual Giving, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation

“The training is helpful in making sure that I am sharing information that is most important to the listener. It was a great reminder to speak with intentionality.”
Shelly Ridgeway, Director of Marketing & Communications, United Way of Central Carolinas

“This hour of training was more of a treat than a mani-pedi. Intense pandemic work doesn’t leave much left over for refreshing our stories, but I’m glad I made time for a skillfully guided reset.”
Sabrina Roach, Program Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

“The training gave me several takeaway’s that I will try. Also, the idea to log the calls to see if some scripts are more beneficial than others in reaching donors.”
Allison Rhodes, Major Gifts Officer, United Way of Central Carolinas

“In one hour, I learned more about how to effectively speak in public than in the last 5 years of my life. Marc provides a supportive space which allows you to feel comfortable and his training is practical, useful, and suited to the individuals needs.”
Kelly McHood, Fund Development Director, The Well Community Development Corporation

“The training exceeded my expectations. In one hour I learned how to talk about my organization is three different scenarios and feel comfortable doing so. This training left me wanting to meet again and learn more techniques on elevator speechs.”
Patti Policicchio, Content & Event Coordinator, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

“In working with Mark, I found a new perspective on my work, and the way I present myself, while finding pride in the areas I excel. Together with Mark we were able to find feeling in our messaging and pull out the importance of the mission of the organization.”
Amber Genet, Vice President and COO, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

“Because we’ve been significantly affected by the pandemic, we’re less physically connected than ever before. It’s even more important to find ways not just to communicate, but to make a human connection. I’m really excited to use the skills I’ve learned from Elevator Speech Training to bring a greater effectiveness to what I communicate (especially in zoom meetings), as well as a greater openness and sense of engagement.”
Dominic Caruso, Communications Director, Downtown Akron Partnership

“Given these uncertain times, organizational pivots and shifts are often necessary to stay relevant, open, and news worthy. Marc’s framework is a great guide to help leaders communicate effectively so their message is clear, effective, and evokes the right action. Well done Marc.”
Roshell Rinkins, Director/Grants Administration, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

“Elevator Speech training is a powerful tool. It gives you a strong framework to organize and present your key points in a compelling and highly relatable way. The video recordings and real-time coaching provide terrific insights that you can incorporate immediately and with great effect.”
Meredith Hector, HR Director, Knight Foundation

“We worked on the storytelling and the power of the message. Marc helped me to identify great examples of success to share with large audiences or in a one on one conversations. I walked away with ideas and a confidence I can use right away.”
Karen Rundlet, Journalism Director, Knight Foundation

“Watching a critiqued playback of my own message and style is an extraordinarily effective way for me to rapidly process feedback and act on it.”
Christopher Thompson, Director, Knight Foundation