Writing a compelling ‘Case for Support’
Creating a compelling ‘case for support’ is the key to successful fundraising for the whole of your organisation. If at any point anyone involved with you is unclear about what you do and why you do it, it will reflect badly on the organisation as a whole. In marketing terms the saying goes: ‘a confused buyer never buys’ and so it is when also looking at potential funders. A funder who is confused about what and why you do what you do will rarely bother to dig deeper to find out and simply move on to the next charity who has clear goals and a compelling case for support.
There is a fundraising cycle and the very beginning of that cycle is the ‘Case Statement’ – the reason your organisation is needing funds.
You will need to answer these 7 questions:
- Who are you as an organisation
- Why do you exist
- What is distinctive/different about you
- What do you want to accomplish
- How do you plan to go about it
- What makes you competent to do it
- How will you be accountable for what you do
By answering these questions you will get a clear understanding of why you are asking for funding – and so will all potential funders!
The importance of your Case for Support cannot be underestimated. It is the lynchpin of your entire fundraising effort. It’s so important in fact that I’ve devoted an entire course around it. After preparing yourself to fundraise, then deciding on which strategy to use – this is the next step and you should not start your fundraising efforts UNTIL you have a compelling case for support.
Your case for support explains why the fundraising opportunity is an investment that is consistent with the donor’s values and interests. It does not limit itself to your specific organisation but also looks at where your aims fit in with socio-demographic needs. The case for support should be accurate and evidence provided to back up any claims. It should also be rational and passionate. Statistics for rational evidence and testimonies for evidence of the passion felt by supporters and service users, whilst evoking very positive feelings. This will help to make a lasting impression on the potential funder. The case for support should finish with a fundraising goal – which should be specific.
Fundraising is very much like marketing in the private sector, so before writing your case for support you should know who your target audience is going to be. It may be the case that you need several different documents in line with each target audience you are trying to reach. The base information will always remain the same of course, but the message may vary from audience to audience.
You should ascertain:
- Who is your prospective donor?
- Will you appeal to a broad audience or a specialist target?
- What is the donor’s connection to your organisation?
- What are the donors’ most basic concerns and greatest aspirations?
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