A case for support is a high-level document that provides the foundation for which all philanthropic support is received.
While a potential donor may not request to see a case for support before making a pledge, the document – sometimes referred to as a case statement – should always be accessible.
Why does a charity reliant on fundraising need a case for support?
When every dollar counts as it does in fundraising, an organisation’s case for support can lead to better outcomes by captivating the attention of the desired audience and giving solid reasons they should choose you.
The case for support also:
- Forms the basis for all appeals and marketing collateral
- Defines who you are and what you’re trying to achieve
- Keeps staff and volunteers on track by helping them remain focussed on core objectives
- Creates a point of difference against other charities
- Builds credibility
To create a compelling case for support that connects with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders and encourages them to take action, follow these five steps:
Clearly define sections
There’s no standard format for a case for support, but it’s potentially a lengthy document containing lots of information.
Create a contents page and define sections that will enable readers to jump to the parts that apply to them or skim read where required.
Include the following sections:
- History of the organisation
- Mission and vision
- Current position (financial and programs)
- How someone can help
Use case studies
Potential donors and investors need to know that their support will make a tangible difference.
Provide real-world, detailed examples demonstrating how previous support has improved the lives of others and made a difference in the community.
Use images, quotes, testimonials and powerful accounts to stir the empathy in the reader that encourages them to take action.
Support with data
While case studies will invoke the emotion that motivates someone to give, the case for support will be read by executives, CEOs and government bodies whose primary responsibility is to make sure they’re investing wisely.
When dealing with significant sums of money and potential long-term funding contracts, data can highlight your current financial situation, growth rate, and predictions for the future.
It’s vital you demonstrate that what you’re doing now is working or identify data-focussed solutions if not.
SupporterHub is a data-management platform that provides complex insights into fundraising figures categorised by the success of campaigns, budget information and forecasts for the future.
While emotional stories can help tell your story, it’s the data that will verify the impact. Data can be analysed and presented to tell your story in a way that appeals to your ideal supporters.
Clearly define the vision and mission
Fundamentally, the vision represents the bigger picture, and the mission outlines the steps required to get there.
The case for support should state your current position concerning the broader mission and define short, medium and long-term goals on how you plan to achieve it.
While fundraising is a diverse mix of emotion and data, your case for support will demonstrate your business management skills that help you reach the vision.
At a minimum, a case for support is created to have a positive impact on major giving, corporate sponsorship, grant applications and government funding. With a wide audience in mind, it’s essential to create a compelling case for support that connects with a variety of readers, each with different intentions.
Keep language professional but avoid jargon and technicalities that make the document hard to understand.
Be concise, a case for support should only be as long as it needs to be to convey the message effectively, and not a word longer.
The case for support is available to existing and potential stakeholders of all levels, so it must address concerns and answer questions in a variety of ways.
To find out how SupporterHub can help you access relevant data to create a captivating and coherent case for support, contact us to arrange a free trial today.