Whether you’re a university, a community college or an arts organization, your fundraising success will depend upon making a compelling case for support. But before starting, I need to make an important distinction: A case for support is different than a case statement. The former is an argument addressing why you are deserving of support and the latter is a publication containing that argument. The case for support should be central to every communication vehicle you employ, whether printed, verbal or visual—including case statements. Having settled that, let’s consider what goes into making an effective case for support.
Every case for support should do three things:
- State a value proposition
How do you impact individual lives? How do you make your community or the world a better place? What is your vision?
- Communicate that value proposition through stories
Make it personal. Focus on an individual or group. Make it emotional. You want your audience to feel something—empathy, joy or pride.
- Inspire confidence
Is your vision attainable? Is yours a stable organization with a history of accomplishment? Is your leadership capable of achieving the vision?
After outlining your case for support, begin assembling content and materials into a case library, a reservoir of resources you can draw upon for the various communications vehicles you will employ. Include things like endorsements, individual stories, photos and supporting data. Then every time an opportunity to reach an audience arises, whether through a case statement, a news release or a speech, you’ll have the argument and content you need to inspire that audience’s support of your vision.