Fundraising is about building relationships, and one of our favorite tools for relationship building is the case for support.
The case for support is used to share an organization’s story. It uses emotive language to tell your donor:
- Why your mission matters
- Why the need is urgent
- How they can help solve the need
Most importantly, the case for support outlines your vision. It tells the donor what you will be able to do in the future with their support.
The case for support takes on different forms across the nonprofit sector. While some are designed for marketing purposes, ours are formatted as dynamic documents, which allows them to evolve with the organization. Case language can then be used to create donor communications and marketing materials.
We utilize the following format for the case for support:
IV. Project Details
V. Goals and Outcomes
VII. Impact Stories
VIII. Financial Information
To begin crafting the case, we interview key stakeholders to ask basic questions that get to the heart of the mission. Questions such as, “What is the problem? What is the need? How will your project address the need? What will be the benefits of your actions? What are the consequences if you fail?”
This process isn’t just for consultants — we encourage development staff to use this format when writing their organization’s case for support. By engaging stakeholders, you are capturing emotive language from those who experience the mission firsthand.
The most important thing to keep in mind throughout the writing process is that a case for support is never about a need for money, but always about meeting need among those you serve.
Rather than sharing why the reader’s donation matters, share why they matter.
The relationships you build as a result will create lasting change.
Article by: Morgan Veach Kerns, Assistant Director of Communications