A couple of years ago, I wrote some articles for Kate Clift's Six Sisters Fundraising blog on writing a Case for Support. Recently, I was explaining once again the purpose of a case for support and how to go about developing it and I distilled my thoughts into one simple page. In the spirit of sharing, this is it...
Case for Support
A is not a glossy brochure – it is your hymn sheet. It is a central argument, usually captured in a written document, which all the key stakeholders involved have bought into and feel ownership of. It tells us what the point of your project it, why we need it at all and why we need it now. It paints a picture of your vision for the project, and tells us what we can all achieve by investing. It also tells us how much all of that will cost.
- Cathy Blankenship, Lear Theatre (like this quote? Find out more... )
|Image by Howard Lake - yes he does pictures too!|
The really important thing is that this meaty document can be distilled down into one simple argument – or with a really strong case, into a few choice words. It has at its heart your project’s heart. All of the stakeholders associated with your case for support can relate to that single beating heart. They own that heart, they believe in it and therefore they can talk about it. It makes sense of your project and from that, everything else flows.
The key questions that a case for support document needs to address are as follows:
What is the need? Why is this important? In determining this it can be useful just to ask yourself “why?” until you drill down into the core reason for the project you want to do.
Why are you the best people to meet this need? What makes you or your organisation uniquely well placed to deliver this project?
What is the urgency? Why would people need to give now? Will it make something happen which needs to happen? Will it stop something from happening that shouldn’t happen?
How do you propose to meet the need? This can be translated as ‘what do you plan to do?’
What are you missing? This is where the potential donor comes in. What do you need from them to make this important project happen?