Developing a Strong Case for Support – Improve the Efficacy of your Fundraising

28 May 2020 | By Nye Greenfield

 

Since Covid-19, the ability of charities to tell effective stories about their work and why funders should support them is more important than ever. We are entering a cut-throat and competitive era for funding and those charities that can tell the best stories will stand out in the race to secure funds.

 

The Fundraising Case for Support is a brilliant way to draw all your key information in one place, and working together across your wider team it can be used to test messaging, in order to see how the tone and communications will play to a wider range of funders. This article outlines a number of tips for creating a strong Case for Support, providing you with the base for successful Fundraising.

 

Developing your Case for Support

Prior to beginning drafting your own Case for Support, it can be useful to look at examples from other organisations. Reading through these examples, you will be introduced to a number of key components, such as the need and track record, as well as the style of writing required. Others’ examples can serve as a form of inspiration or equally, an indication of what your own Case for Support will not include.

 

Having gained an understanding of what a Case for Support looks like, you will be in a position to begin assembling important pieces of information regarding your organisation and the work that it carries out. This could include quotes and testimonials about your activities, as well as headline figures and statistics that help to demonstrate the need for your organisation and its effectiveness.

 

Once the required information has been obtained, it is important to ensure that it is ordered in a structure that successfully conveys what your organisation does and why it is needed. This will allow you to tell the story of your organisation and increase the chances of attracting the funder’s imagination. Whilst this structure will vary depending on your organisation and the intended audience, below are a number of basic components to consider:

  • Executive Summary – A synopsis of the entire document with an immediate focus on the project/campaign you are seeking funding for.
  • Introduction – Information about your organisation’s history and overall purpose.
  • Activities – A clear outline of what your organisation does and who it reaches.
  • Track Record and Impact – What your organisation has achieved thus far, and how it has made a difference.
  • The Need – Why does your organisation need support and why is your organisation needed?
  • Campaign/Project – Specific details of your organisation’s future plans for which you are asking for support. This section should include SMART (specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, timebound) outcomes, as these will enable you to measure the success of your project.
  • Ask – Having spoken about the need for your organisation, and how you plan to address this, now is the time to make an ask to the reader.
  • Budget – A clear budget breakdown or your future plans that matches the narrative of your Case for Support and includes information on income and expenditure.

After an appropriate structure has been penned, you can begin to write the first iteration of the Case for Support, sharing it with your team for feedback and critique to develop a completed document that the whole organisation is on board with.

 

Top Tips

Whilst creating and developing your Case for Support, there are a number of important things for you to bear in mind:

  • Messaging – Ensure that there is a jargon-free, strong, clear, compelling and consistent message throughout. Remember, you are writing to someone who is likely to have little knowledge of your organisation, so make it as easy as possible for them to understand what you do.
  • Expertise and Track Record – This is your opportunity to tell the reader about what you have accomplished thus far, whilst also showing there is more work to be done to achieve a greater impact.
  • Demonstrating Need – As competition for funds is likely to increase, it is important that you clearly convey why your organisation is needed. It is also essential to bear in mind that you need to be realistic in terms of your activities, you may not be able to eliminate world poverty, but you might be able to improve the lives of a group of disadvantaged people.
  • Covid-19 and Collaboration – The current pandemic is affecting all sectors of our society, and whilst it remains unclear exactly how the charity landscape will change as a result of Covid-19, there are ways in which we can continue to make a difference. For example, some charities are uniting and working together to collectively support their beneficiaries, whilst others are finding new ways to support local communities. A new Case for Support should tell a funder how Covid-19 has impacted you and how you intend to respond and make a difference.

 

If you would like support in your fundraising efforts, including the development of an effective Case for Support, start a conversation that matters, with an initial consultation here.

 

 

 

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“We are pleased to support the development of these materials, through Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, to provide a comprehensive bank of knowledge and experience that can be easily accessed by leaders of arts organisations and practitioners, both in the UK and internationally. One of our priorities at the Arts Council is to help arts and cultural organisations become more resilient and sustainable as they explore new revenue streams.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of ACE

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