There is an enormous amount of easily accessible information on constructing a nonprofit fundraising Case-For-Support … from the library, bookstores, and the Internet. Countless volumes and articles have been written on the subject, and there are always workshops and seminars dealing with this critically important topic.
Keeping that in mind, I’ll try to give you the condensed version of what I’ve come to know about this vital “selling” tool for all nonprofits.
No nonprofit should ever be without a strong and compelling argument for its support. The Case should convey a sense of urgency, suggest efficiency in operation, state a uniqueness in filling a demonstrated need to an identified constituency, and provide personal (mostly internal) rewards to the donors.
The Case For Support is the “argument” for your fundraising program/campaign or your project in need of funding. It grows out of your organization’s mission statement in the sense that the money to be raised will be used by your organization to advance that mission.
It articulates your organization’s reason for being, its integrity, the good you do, the good you want to do, your specific fundraising need … and the urgency for it.
Developing the Case For Support and setting an annual goal and/or the goal of a campaign are preliminary, almost intuitive, steps in the process of creating a development/campaign plan, and they generally occur simultaneously.
The goal is the overriding concern of the program/campaign, and the focus and strength of the case to be made for the campaign are dependent on the size and purpose of the goal. The Case For Support often becomes the main tool used to recruit volunteer campaign leadership and solicitors and to convince prospective donors to give.
From what I have seen of compelling and relevant case statements, here is a suggested case development outline:
1. A statement of the problem/challenge.
2. One-or-more specific examples of the need.
3. Proof you did your homework – that you have studied and planned.
4. Evidence that you can make it work – that you have the skills and the organization to do it.
5. A discussion of how the donor might benefit … by helping others, or by doing something heroic.
6. A “Call-to-Action,” showing the donor what s/he could/should do to help, and why.
How short or how long should the Case For Support be?
It depends upon the magnitude and scope of the program/campaign or the project. Good judgment will tell you not to make it too brief, as it could suggest to the prospect that you have not researched adequately or that perhaps the project is not so important.
Then too, if it’s overly long, you run the risk of losing the attention of your reader. (If I have kept your attention thus far, I hope my Case Statement tips will work for you.)
Have a question or comment about the above posting?
You can Ask Tony.
There is also a lot of good fundraising information on his website:
Have you seen
The Fundraising Series of ebooks?
They’re easy to read, to the point, and cheap ($1.99 – $3.99) ☺
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