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Do you use a case for support (“case”) in your fundraising? Do you use your case to recruit board members, fundraising volunteers, and new staff? Do all members of your nonprofit know where the organization or institution is headed? Yes, you can fundraise, recruit leadership and staff, and manage an organization without a case, but it is so much easier when you work with a case.

Most organizations work from the premise that the only time they need a case is when they are preparing to engage in a major fundraising campaign. During such a campaign, the case is reserved for use with donors at the highest levels. We believe that any organization that depends on fundraising needs a case for support. And it is important to remember that all but the luckiest of nonprofits are in a perpetual state of fundraising. The case is your essential marketing material that you must have to support your efforts.

If you are new to fundraising, or not involved in fundraising management, you may be wondering, “what is a case for support?” Here is our working definition. The case for support is not a literary piece – it is a sales and marketing document that clearly and concisely communicates what you are raising money for, why someone should give, and what the impact of their gift will be. It is rooted in the organization’s mission, reflects its values and place in the market, and is based on financial projections.” The case can be communicated using a deck or PowerPoint, as a brochure, as a video, or a simple letter or document. We recommend investing in graphics or video, but at a minimum you need a clear, concise, and compelling document.

While it can take time to build consensus on exactly how much your organization needs to raise, how the funds will be used, and what the anticipated impact will be. But there are so many benefits. A case:

  1. Mobilizes your organization both internally and externally as you work together to define and agree on what you want to accomplish.
  2. Highlights your accomplishments and track record, and in so doing, it demonstrates your capacity.
  3. Demonstrates that all parties are on the same page.
  4. Educates and communicates to your donors, prospects and supporters where you are going.
  5. Highlights your financial position – whether positive or negative.
  6. Defines you as an organization.
  7. Establishes your uniqueness in the marketplace.
  8. Communicates your goals, vision, values, and mission.
  9. Highlights your collaborators and partners.
  10. Serves as a recruiting tool for volunteer leadership and potential future board members.
  11. Shows how you are meeting a need.
  12. Enhances your nonprofit as a professional organization.

The case for support is a key marketing tool – and the source document from which you can draw as you create marketing messages for multiple media. Instead of asking, “why bother with a case for support?” we recommend asking, “how can we move forward without one?”

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Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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