Nonprofit organizations spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to produce their Case for Support, the document that outlines the organization’s activities and explains the need for philanthropic support.
That’s why communications expert and author Tom Ahern, of Ahern Communications, will be sharing his wisdom at the upcoming Association of Fundraising Professionals International Fundraising Conference (Baltimore, March 29-31, 2015). His session, “Fabulous Case! Building One,” will reveal the secrets for creating a powerful document that can actually help you raise more money.
Ahern recently shared with me some of the tips he’ll be presenting in greater detail at the Conference.
Did you know that every Case for Support should answer three fundamental questions? Ahern identifies those questions:
1. Why us? You need to answer this question by explaining what your organization does that is so uniquely wonderful that the world should want more of it and support its new plans.
If you need help answering the question, just imagine that your organization, project, program, idea, mission or vision has gone away. What difference would that make?
2. Why now? You need to explain why your campaign needs to happen immediately, perhaps showing people what has changed or the reason for sudden urgency.
In other words, your answer to this question must demonstrate why your project(s) is relevant to the person whose support you seek.
3. Why should the prospective donor care? Donors have many options for directing their philanthropic support. Often, there are even many organizations focused on similar missions. You need to help prospective donors understand why they should care about your organization and your project(s).
The key to answering this question is thinking about the impact your organization will have once it’s project(s) is fully funded. Remember, your campaign is not just about funding your organization; it’s about what your organization will accomplish.
When working to develop a fabulous Case for Support, Ahern says we must remember: