I recently read a book that inspired me – I Can Fix America – written by a successful Atlanta entrepreneur and philanthropist. I was struck by David’s passion and his compelling yet profoundly simple message. His “call to action” resonated with me and reminded me that all actions, large and small, make a difference.
A common thread weaves between the pages of a motivational book and a Case for Support. They are both meant to inspire and move the reader to action. The Case for Support serves as the guiding document to inform external stakeholders about why your nonprofit needs the money and how the funder will benefit from an investment. The essential elements connect the reader to the problem (compelling need), connects the need to SMART solutions (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely), and a call to action (inspires and motivates to act).
Every Case for Support should include the following elements:
- Organizational History
- Mission and Vision
- Community Impact
- Programs and Services
- Fundraising Goal
Depending on how the Case for Support is to be used, other sections may also be included. This is especially true for capital campaigns or campaigns for special projects.
- Project or Campaign Specifics
- Fundraising Details
- Benefits and Recognition
Other elements, such as appearance, are also important and can be overlooked. Additionally, challenges such as presenting evidence of community impact must be overcome if you haven’t engaged in evaluations to demonstrate your organization’s outcomes or your nonprofit is newly established. In the weeks to come, I will share a few Ellen’s Gospel Truths that I have found to be useful when writing a Case for Support that leaves the right impression and hopefully, moves the reader to action.