Before raising funds for your organization or a specific program, or before embarking on a new campaign, you need a Case for Support – a clear and concise document that tells donors the evidence-based need you are attempting to address, how you plan to meet that need and why your organization is uniquely suited to taking on this challenge. In other words, a strong Case for Support builds empathy for your cause, confidence in your plan, and trust in your organization.
A Case for Support provides your organization with a unifying proposition that leaders, volunteers, and staff can embrace when requesting funding for your organization or a specific program. Developing a Case for Support requires that key stakeholders consider and agree upon the basic tenets of what they are trying to accomplish. With this common thesis in hand, the organization can move forward in raising funds with a compelling and consistent message.
Developing a Case for Support is also an exercise in reinforcing the organization's mission and vision or altering the mission and vision to better align with new goals and challenges. Before its approval, every new Case for Support requires an examination to ascertain how well it aligns with the organizational mission and vision. If there is a notable disconnect or mission drift, the Case for Support needs to be modified to bring it in line. As mentioned above, the alternative is to alter the organization's mission and vision to ensure compatibility with new priorities. The key is to ensure consistency to prevent confusion among donors and stakeholders.
The Case for Support has four main functions:
1. Articulates the need for support and organizational ability
2. Ensures stakeholders are all on the same page
3. Reinforces the organizational mission and vision
4. Provides a foundation to raise funds