The Importance of the Case
Sometimes development professionals only think about the importance of having a case for support when they are preparing to launch a capital campaign. However, you need a case for support for all your fundraising activities. The case has been defined by some as "the reasons why an organization both needs and merits philanthropic support….," (AFP Fundraising Dictionary); ….a clear, compelling statement of all the reasons why anyone should consider making contribution…. (Harold J. Seymour) and "… an internal database …of information that will support the preparation of various documents and publications…" (Henry A Rosso). The case is all of this and more.
You need to develop your case for support first, before designing a brochure, developing a website, preparing grant proposals, developing speeches, PowerPoint presentations, DVDs, and any other material used in your fundraising activities. The reason for having the case in place first is that it is crucial to present a unified message and a consistent look and feel in all your fundraising materials. Too many times someone in your organization decides that you need a brochure, a website, or video and someone heads off to develop that material, while other individuals are preparing grant proposals and fundraising appeal letters, and still others may be out making presentations to groups and individuals. If these people are not a working from the same source document, the case for support, the messages they deliver will be inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory.
The steps to developing a case are:
Develop the organizational case for support
Develop individual case statements for various fundraising activities
Test the preliminary case statements
Prepare final case statements
Translate final case statements into fundraising materials.
In other words, development of the materials is the last step, not the first!
Read more about the case in Fundraising for the GENIUS www.LindaLysakowski.com