Does your organization have a written Case for Support? Most organizations, unless they are actively involved in a capital campaign or an effort to raise funds for an endowment would say “no.” A Case for Support, as defined by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is a brief, clear statement that communicates the purpose, program and financial needs of the organization. In this case, “statement” is really a bit of a misnomer. Most case for supports are 10-20 pages in length and include photos and financial information in the form of charts and graphs.
The Case for Support provides organizations with an opportunity to research and compile pertinent information about the organizations, its programs, services and leadership into one document that can be used for many purposes. For instance, perhaps the organization is soliciting a donation from a major donor; the Case for Support will provide a comprehensive picture of the organization in a professional manner that is appealing to would-be investors/donors. The Case for Support also provides the organization with an opportunity to highlight its successes and to present its vision for the future. The Case for Support also provides key information that can be cut and pasted into grant proposals and other documents to be used for specific purposes.
If your organization is working to develop a Case for Support, begin by answering the following questions:
- Who is the organization? How, why and when was it formed?
- Who does the organization partner with?
- How is the organization unique? In other words, how does it serve differently than other organizations that have similar missions?
- What impact is the organization making? Here, you will want to include some success stories.
- What does the financial picture of the organization look like?
- What the organizational leadership envision for the future?
- Who is the leadership of the organization?
The Case for Support should also include information about the funding sources of the organization as well as any funding challenges being experienced by the organization.
Throughout the document, the focus should be on who the organization is serving and the needs of the community being served….not the organization itself. This requires careful planning and thoughtful phrasing. In addition, during the writing process, it is important to balance both passion and logic. In other words, you will want to connect with both the head and the heart. This is done by using a balance of stories, quotes and anecdotes as well as statistics and facts.
The Case for Support can be one of the most important documents the organization has. For this reason it is important to make sure that it paints an accurate picture of the organization, is well designed and written with no typos or grammatical errors. This is one case where it may be best to hire a professional.
Need help writing your Case for Support? Give us a call, we can help you put together a high-quality, professional document that can be used for a number of purposes.