Developing a compelling Case for Support is one of the key success-factors in a Major Gift program or Capital Campaign. Getting it right will lead to donors that are emotionally and financially invested in your vision, but getting it wrong will only lead to disappointment and missed opportunities.
It is crucial that you invest the necessary time and resources to create a case that is an inspiring expression of your vision and includes a clear call to action. It is also important that you try to avoid these six common mistakes that weaken your case and the chance to achieve fundraising success.
- Not clearly defining your vision
The reasons your campaign exists should be described in compelling terms. A clear statement of your vision is perhaps the central function of the case.
- Vague plans
There is no point in having an inspiring vision if you cannot show prospective donors how you attend to achieve it. Planning should be fairly well completed by the time you get to developing the case, so there really is no excuse for vague and uncertain plans do not inspire.
- Crying poor
The fact that an organisation has large and urgent financial needs is not a good reason for the dispassionate reader to make a gift. Remember, every non-profit has needs. Donors are more likely to be persuaded by exhilarating opportunities – the promise of effective action and the solution to human and social problems. Dwelling on financial problems may, in fact, make you sound like a bad investment and cause the potential donor to question your financial management and stability.
- Assuming what motivates your prospects
The public perception of your organization is sometimes very different to what you think, so it is a mistake to assume that what staff members value is the same as what your donors, and sometimes even your Board, actually think is most important about your work. When developing as case it is important to consider the motivations of your target donor. Ask yourself what moves them, or makes them angry? And if you are not sure, ask them.
- Unsubstantiated Grand Claims
The information you present must be believable or able to be substantiated otherwise you risk coming across as insincere or worse still, untrustworthy.
- An absent or unclear call to action
We often seen Case for Support documents where the funding need is vaguely mentioned, but the actual ask for donations is very unclear or even unsaid. It is as if the writer is frightened to ask the donor for money outright, and is instead hoping the donor just “gets it”.
Writing a case for support is a specialised skill that not all fundraisers possess. If you think you may need help with your case for support, please call on 1300 721 799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a number of case writing experts on our team who can use their skill and experience to help you create a winning case for support.