JGA has the privilege of working with a diverse mix of nonprofit organizations and institutions to develop their preliminary cases for support. Though many clients may see this work as a chore, it is a key part of campaign planning that can significantly impact the success of your campaign. No pressure!
If possible, try to see this project as a great opportunity to share your organization’s aspirations for the future with your key constituents—those who are connected to your organization and invested in one way or another. The case for support is a great way to see if the priorities you have identified resonate with them and will inspire support. As important, this one document will provide the basis for all materials that will be developed during the course of the campaign.
So, it is important to take the time to do it right. If your leadership is prepared before diving in to the task, the process of putting together an effective, concise, but compelling case for support can be relatively simple.
How do you know if you’re ready to create a preliminary case for support? Following are some key indicators:
- Do the board chair and the CEO/President agree on the top two or three goals to be accomplished in the next five years?
- Can you show a basic financial breakdown of the campaign components?
- Do you have renderings, photos, etc. to bring your project(s) to life for the reader?
- Can you clearly illustrate what will be different for the organization as a result of a successful campaign? Can you describe the impact the campaign will have outside of your organization in a compelling way?
JGA sometimes assists clients with case statement development who find they do not truly have a focus for their campaign or a plan for how to achieve their goals. Often this clarity comes from an effective strategic planning process. Needs and goals emerging from this thoughtful process typically translate into priorities for a fundraising effort. If you have already thought through and determined your top priorities, the “guts” of the case for support are already in hand.
As we work with clients on this phase of their campaign planning, we find it helpful to review a strategic plan and other background documents as we prepare to create—or assist with—a case for support. The more we know about your organization, the better we can help you articulate your hopes and dreams.
For many organizations, the case for support may be the first time they have had to articulate in one place their aspirations for the future in concrete terms—and that can be a daunting task! Whether you take this on in-house or ask JGA to assist, careful preparation is essential to developing an effective case for support that will inspire your donors and future donors.