While constructing a Case for Support is a team effort, writing it should be the responsibility of one person, preferably a good writer.
Finding the right mix of people who will contribute to the Case for Support is critical to producing a comprehensive and harmonized document. A Case for Support for the organization requires the input of both staff and volunteer leaders.
This is the writer’s job. The information required includes the specific evidenced-based needs the organization is addressing, sound and tested solutions for these needs, goals and objectives, project expenses, and anticipated outcomes and results. A more comprehensive list of information needs can be found in THE CASE FOR SUPPORT - COMPONENTS section.
The first draft of the Case for Support should focus on content rather than style. At this stage, all you want to ensure is that the Case for Support has captured the most essential and relevant content required to make your case.
It is critical that the facts supporting the evidence of need are checked, confirmed, and cited. One inaccuracy at this stage can cast doubt on the entire Case for Support and affect credibility. Be sure to record your fact-checking sources for future reference in the event stakeholders and potential funders question them.
With all of your content and facts in place, you can now concentrate on style and making your Case for Support compelling and easy to read – no small feat. This is the stage where every Case for Support is a little different, depending on the organization, audience, and fundraising strategy.
Provide the stakeholder team with ample time to read and comment on this second draft. However, set a deadline for feedback to keep the process on track.
Try incorporating as many comments and suggestions received in the second draft when writing the final draft. Contradictory feedback will need to be discussed with the team, and decisions will need to be made concerning direction, content, and style. While the writer can coordinate this effort, they should not be the arbitrator. The stakeholder team or organizational leadership should dictate and educate the final version of the Case for Support.
This might seem like a common-sense last step, but it can be easily overlooked. The final version of the Case fo requires approval from the Board of Directors since this is a foundational document that may be widely circulated and utilized in developing other fundraising materials and funding proposals. A formal motion to adopt the Case for Support ensures the backing of the entire organization and provides one last chance to make any minor changes in content or style.