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What is a Fundraising Case, and Why Do I Need One Anyway?

By March 27, 2017No Comments

Nadia Prescott

Almost every time I work with an organization, I am questioned about the need to develop a fundraising case. Most people believe that fundraising cases are only necessary for large organizations, like universities or hospitals, who approach donors for major endowment gifts. While that may be true, it is equally true that 85% of charitable dollars come from individual donors (see February newsletter for additional details) who support smaller non-profits.

Every organization soliciting charitable giving needs a fundraising case. In fact, creating this document is arguably one of the most tasks that a nonprofit organization undertakes, regardless of size or status. Developing a fundraising case allows you an opportunity to clearly articulate your vision to the rest of your organization and to the community at large, and will support any future fundraising ventures. By outlining a strong case for what you are asking for, and how it will help sustain the organization long term, you are helping to support your board and staff in prospecting future donors. Without a compelling story, you won’t able to raise money!

Your fundraising case should set the tone for what you want to achieve. It declares the mission of the organization, states its accomplishments and most importantly, outlines your vision for attaining future financial goals and why that matters. It invites donors to buy into your vision. Good case statements tell your story effectively. They combine compelling personal vignettes describing client successes with the cold hard facts about the realities of what is required to be a positive force in the world. A good case story should create a sense of urgency and inspire potential donors to take action and invest in your mission.

Your organization’s case should be very carefully thought-out and constructed, and include participation from both your board and staff as it will become the platform for all marketing and fundraising strategies throughout the year. Stories should be updated regularly to reflect new accomplishments, describe heartwarming client success stories, and include compelling call-to-action messages from your board members.

To learn how to get started developing your fundraising case, visit and download the webinar on Fundraising Planning. It’s one in a series of useful and simple to understand webinars designed to give you an overview of how to maximize your fundraising strategies.


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