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What is your CASA Elevator Speech?

           You know what an elevator speech is, right? It is defined as “a succinct and persuasive sales pitch.” More specifically, Wikipedia defines an elevator speech as “a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time.” A short period of time – the 30 seconds you have on an elevator ride.

            As I move about our community and engage people to talk about Hall-Dawson CASA and the work we do, I find it particularly important to pull out my elevator speech. Often, I am meeting someone for the first time at Kiwanis or at my church. This is how it sometimes goes: They routinely ask what I do for a living. “Oh, I work at Hall-Dawson CASA.” Blank stare. “Do you know CASA?” I ask. They respond by shaking their head “no.” Here is where the elevator speech comes in. I have a very short window to explain the work of CASA in enough detail to make an impression, but not so long that I lose them.

            “At Hall-Dawson CASA, we recruit, train and support community volunteers – just like you – to advocate for children who are experiencing foster care because of abuse or neglect. The volunteers -- or advocates, as we call them – are appointed to the case by a juvenile court judge. They get to know the child and everyone involved in the case in order to advocate for services for the child and families. They also make recommendations to the court about what is in the child’s best interest – they are the eyes and ears of the court.” 

Other talking points I often share include:

  • Children with a CASA Volunteer have significantly better outcomes than a child without a CASA.
  • In 2021, Hall-Dawson CASA served 375 children. We had 103 active Volunteers.
  • CASA Volunteers receive all the training they need through a seven-week training course (about 40 hours). No specific background is required to do the work.
  • Each CASA Volunteer has a staff supervisor who works closely with them throughout their time with the organization.
  • One of our goals is permanency. This means that a child is either reunified, adopted or is placed in a legal guardianship.
  • One year of CASA advocacy costs less than one month of foster care.
  • Hall-Dawson CASA is dependent upon our community for volunteers and donor support in order to serve children experiencing foster care.
  • We need MANY more volunteers – we are currently serving about 62% of the children who need us.

I hope this helps you think about your elevator speech. We need YOU – our CASA family – to help tell our story to your family, friends and business associates. You may have your own experience with CASA or the child welfare system that you craft your speech around. I hope you’ll be part of educating our community about the need for Hall-Dawson CASA, and how others can be a part of helping children move from a chaotic present to a promising future. Maybe – with us all telling the story – eventually, when I ask people if they know CASA, they will respond, “YES!”

For more information, visit our website at or call 770-531-1964.