From the year 2000 to 2016 the nonprofit sector grew from 1.26 million organizations to 1.54 million just in the United States.* With this many organizations vying for support from mass, mid-level, and major donors, the need for a Case for Support has never been greater.
Just because your nonprofit exists, does not mean donors have to or will give you their support!
Unfortunately, in our rush to receive donations for the important work our nonprofits do, a Case for Support has taken a backseat to raising funds. This is putting the cart before the horse. We’ve gotten things backward. With a solid Case for Support, you can increase your engagement with current and prospective donors while raising more funds.
A Case for Support should start with your Vision Statement. If you don’t have a Vision Statement, you need to step back and start there. A Vision Statement encapsulates the accomplishments that will happen due to the donor’s generosity (i.e., feral cats will be neutered).
While stating your Vision is important, you also need to show there is a problem that exists. Using the example of the cats, you might say “there’s been an unprecedented increase in the number of feral cats in our city. These cats live hard lives and often cause self-harm due to scratching because of ear mites and other infections. They are subject to cruelty at the hands of dogfighters who use their bait for the dogs.”
Your Case for Support needs to include your plan to alleviate the problem at hand. You explain how the donor’s generous gifts will help take care of the problem. This will also include the costs associated with fixing the problem.
Putting together a Case for Support is a difficult job and many times it’s hard to stop the important work you are doing to develop it. Your Case for Support needs to be reviewed yearly because needs change. It also needs review anytime there is a change in leadership of your organization. A Case for Support is a crucial element for any capital campaign.
DickersonBakker offers services to help you build your Vision Statement and your Case for Support. Once your gift officers can accurately explain the why and what of your organization’s work, the more the donor better understands and can freely give their support. Contact us today to learn more.
*Statista: Number of non-profit organizations in the U.S. from 1998 to 2016 (in millions)