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CASE FOR SUPPORT

Case for Support: Who Needs Them?

A potential client recently contacted me about assisting with a case for support. “Can’t I do this myself?” she asked.

Of course you can. But hiring a professional to develop this very important piece for your nonprofit will provide well-defined, succinct messaging about your organization and programs. It is often the first impression you give a possible donor. A well-written case for support provides a clear and compelling picture of the problem, program, outcomes and financial need. It serves as the basis for all of your individual and institutional asks.

What you get when you hire a professional

You are paying for the expertise of the design and copy-writing, and this is much more affordable than you might think.  In most instances we can get it accomplished under $1000 plus printing, but always depends on the number of revisions it takes to get things perfect. And with today’s digital color printing, you needn’t spend a bundle, printing a few dozen at a time, which gives you the ability to make quick and easy changes if necessary.

If you choose the “do-it-yourself” method, here is an outline for your case for support—

I.    What is the central challenge or problem that you are seeking to address
  • Clarify what you do to address the challenge or problem
  • Differentiate what you want to do from the other organizations with missions similar to yours
II.   Why your organization?

What uniquely qualifies or positions you to address this challenge or problem? To be included in this discussion:

  • Track record
  • Unique skills
  • Unique capacities (staff experience, track record of past accomplishments, key relationships in the community locally and throughout key communities/networks regionally or nationally)
III.  Program summary

What are the essential elements of the program, initiative or campaign? This section should provide a succinct overview while being sufficiently detailed to be clear and non-generic

IV.  Examples of success

Make a case for how your work is having an impact.  As evidence you can provide qualitative and quantitative data, as available; story content that provides specific examples of individuals impacted and the nature of this impact; and third party endorsements.

V.   Financial

Present a functional budget, one in which with sources of revenue and expenses are stated in a donor-friendly format. Functional budgets are organized by key activities rather than by traditional accounting categories. Expense totals should tie to internal financial categories.
How will you sustain your program?
Email me at alisa@NPOSuccess.org if you would like to see samples of Cases for Support we have created for our clients.

“Alisa knows what it takes for a nonprofit to succeed. She has been a lifesaver for Daring Adventures.”
Mark Stodola
Chairman of the Board, Daring Adventures
“I want to share how deeply I appreciate the way you’ve thrown yourself in to shifting our development efforts to a new level of professionalism, prepped for a transition. I value you so much as a colleague, trusted advisor, passionate advocate and friend.”
Cindy Ornstein
Executive Director, Mesa Arts Center
“I appreciate the service quality that you brought to Arizona Helping Hands. You are a class act and a true professional. The service you have provided to me and the organization has truly added value. My sincere appreciation for all your hard work.”
Dan Shufelt
Former President & CEO, Arizona Helping Hands