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The Case for the Case

Whether you work in annual giving, major giving, corporations, and foundations, or planned giving – the case for philanthropic support for your aspect of advancement needs to be written down and always ready to share with donors, donor candidates, and potential volunteer leaders.

Case documents are dynamic. They are always changing, but must also be widely known so that everyone understands your organization’s needs and are “singing from the same hymnal.”

A compelling case for support should clearly convey your mission, impact, and worthiness in plain language. Avoid insider jargon and focus on connecting with a broad audience.

The need: Articulate what distinct need your organization addresses that others don’t, and back up claims with quotes from grateful beneficiaries that make emotional appeals. Ensure timeliness by removing outdated information and incorporating current trends affecting your work. Consider whether you serve locally, statewide, nationally, or globally.

Rally cry: An up-to-date case functions across fundraising, rallying stakeholders, orienting new hires, and is the basis for grant applications.

Be flexible: If yours needs tightening, prioritize an overhaul. Keep it fresh by reviewing it annually alongside your development committee for wider input. Then, educate all staff members on the essential elements and communicate updates routinely.

Essential document: Evaluate if your case checks the boxes on clarity, uniqueness, validation, timeliness, and positioning. A strong case pays dividends across fundraising, engagement, and positioning your organization competitively. The time for critical review is now – do you think your case presents your mission, impact, and worth?

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