A case statement is a rationale to support a particular cause or mission and should include all details regarding a major capital campaign, fundraising initiative or program which is soliciting private contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Sometimes an organization does not have a case statement and may wonder why they are having problems fundraising. The reason is no one fully understands the benefits of their organization. Other times, case statements are completed, but not tested with their constituents, donors or members, which still leaves your messaging unclear or flat. Or other times they are created but do not change with the growth and development of the organization. A case statement should be reviewed every six months to a year to be sure it is up to date.
Pictured above is an excerpt from a recent case statement from the LE Phillips Memorial Public Library.
Benefits are a key area of focus in a case statement. Here is a list of questions to help get you started:
Who are we? Who do we serve and why? This is the history and background of the organization.
What do we do that is routine? What is extraordinary? Explain the mission and vision.
Do we have an emotional hook and how do we best use it to attract our prospective donors?
Who are we now? What is our current position in terms of status and impetus for improvement?
Current operating budget
New operating budget following capital construction major expansion. if this is your goal
Where do we want to be and when? What are our future goals? What would happen if we did not exist? Be sure to sell your services.
These questions will help define your case for support to fundraise for a 501© (3) organization, municipal construction project or not-for-profit program to identify a way to start if you need to update your case or a fresh start.
The case for support or case statement should be of a length, which is necessary to explain the full rationale of the campaign, project, or general overview of the organization. Organize your case in a way that seems appropriate to you. In most instances, excerpts from your annual report will suffice well for financial information.
You can always create a shortened executive summary or brochure, but never assume your donors will not want to read the material and shorten it from this assumption. Many individuals require this sort of credibility and detail in today’s more competitive fundraising environment.
Put yourselves in the shoes of your top prospective donors. Would your case be compelling and answer all of the key questions you would have if you were being asked for a $1 million gift for your cause?
Are you interested in learning more about how Crescendo can support you and your fundraising needs? We’d love to hear from you!