Developing a Case for Support
One of the first starting points in a fundraising plan is determine how you will persuade people that your cause is just, vital and pressing. You will need to be able to talk and write about your mission for donors, funders, supporters and volunteers. Can you explain the importance of your work, why your organisation exists and what life would be like without you, in a way that is heart-warming enough to elicit a donation?
You probably have a mission statement that’s displayed on your wall, and written up in your annual report. This is only a starting point for the preparation of your case for support. If you can’t easily remember it, then it’s not going to be any good for fundraising.
The case for support is your most important fundraising document. You will use it for funding applications, for meetings with donors, on the telephone, face to face, and in your direct mail letters.
Your case for support will answer the questions that potential donors will ask:
How do you make life changes for people?
What happens when you deliver your service?
Why are you doing this?
Who said you were needed?
Who are you?
Why you and not some other organisation?
What would happen if you stop your work?
You could present this information in a number of ways. You might tell a story about someone who benefited from your activity or service “Let me tell you about……” You might talk about life without your service. “Imagine if….” You could share your own story about how you got involved with the organisation.
However you write this up for yourself, it needs to be presented in personal way. You should be able to say it out loud, to make it sound natural, to have some emotional content and to express your own passion for your cause. When you say it, think of a real person that you are talking about, engage your listener, bring them into the problem solving, invite them to be part of the change process. Offer your reader or your listener the opportunity to become part of the solution – they should be invited to become the hero.
Although an emotional aspect is very important, you should also include some outstanding facts and figures that are easy to remember. These may be shocking statistics that allow you to express your organisation’s solution.