06 Jan Case for Support: what the heck is it and how should I use it?
It’s the cornerstone of any (and I mean ANY) Fundraising Campaign. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Dictionary defines a case for support as:
“The reasons why an organization both needs and merits philanthropic support, usually by outlining the organization’s programs, current needs, and plans.”
What does a case for support do? It collects in one place all the materials you will need to raise money for your organization:
- Why your organization exists and how you make a unique difference in this world;
- Your mission and vision statements;
- Challenges identified by the community that you serve, and how your programs/solutions solve this problem;
- Areas of greatest need and their associated fundraising goals;
- The people on your Fundraising Team;
- What will be different when your fundraising goals are met;
- Different ways that a donor can support your organization;
It is the very first thing I teach in my Fundraising Fundamentals Course because it is the cornerstone of all philanthropic giving to your organization.
Do you have a Case for Support?
- If you don’t, you should.
- If you do have one, when was the last time you looked at it? Is it still relevant?
When you’re a busy not-for-profit professional it’s hard to slow down long enough to write a proper Case for Support. But if you don’t, you’re reinventing or rewriting yourself every time you prepare a proposal, or draft an appeal letter. You’re not using your time wisely.
The Case for Support process will help you articulate your responses to these three fundamental questions. (Thank you Tom Ahern!)
- Why Us – What does our organization do that is truly unique and valuable?
- Why Now – What has changed in our landscape so that we need to raise funds?
- Why me (the donor) – As a donor, why should I care about this, and how can I make a difference and change a piece of the world that I care about with my gift?
The Case for Support process will help you obtain buy-in from ALL levels of your organization – Board, Staff, Volunteers, Programming people – so that everyone is speaking the same language and has agreed on the same areas of greatest need. It is also the first internal step towards building a culture of philanthropy where everyone in the organization understands how donors make the mission come alive. Cases are always forward-thinking and full of opportunities.
Looking for a stellar Case for Support for your organization? I can help. My Fundraising Fundamentals course will get you started on your very own Case for Support that is motivational, persuasive, and emotion based. A great case will save you time, help you get buy-in from your fundraising teams, and will raise more money for your organization.
My next class runs January 12. Sign up today for Fundraising Fundamentals.