Making Your Case for Support

Case for Support: Defined

A Case for Support, also called a case statement, is an emotionally-compelling message that casts a vision for your organization and tells givers why they should invest in your work. Your case for support is one of the most important tools in your fundraising arsenal. 

A strong case for support describes the problem you exist to solve, the solution your organization offers, the Outcome that happens when the solution is applied to the problem, and an invitation to get involved. 

When it’s done well, a Case for Support become the structural components for all your communication pieces. 

A Case For Support is Not…

To understand the Case for Support, it’s helpful to know what it isn’t.

  • It’s not a Mission Statement, though it should definitely be informed by your mission statement
  • It’s not your tagline, though you can use elements of it in your tagline.
  • It’s not long… keep it brief. The human attention span is depressingly short. You have 7-8 seconds to grab someone’s attention. Keep it simple.
  • It’s not full of jargon, fancy words or insider language. 

Your case for support is not a standalone proposal. It’s designed to inform everything else you do in fundraising, but rarely will it stand by itself. 

Many people say too much when sharing about their ministry with someone, often leading to a board listener. This case for support exercise helps you create a concise and compelling story about your organization that will inspire the listener to engage with you further, rather than tune you out. 

A Case for Support Does…

A good Case for Support does at least four things for givers:​

  1. It creates credibility for your ministry.  It’s a way of demonstrating you can do what you say you’re going to do.​
  2. It makes your intentions absolutely clear.  We recommend ending your case for support with an invitation to do something specific – to avoid confusion about what they can do next. A good Case for Support tells people exactly how they can take action. 
  3. It also orients and organizes.  It orients people to thinking about your cause and the problem you seek to solve in a very specific way. It organizes your message in a way that says, “here’s the problem we exist to solve. Here’s why it’s a problem. Here’s what we’re doing about it. Here’s how you can be part of the solution.”
  4. When you apply that framework to your cause and your organization, it answers the most important questions someone has when they’re considering giving to your ministry. ”What’s the problem? Why should I care? How can I help?”

Printable/Fillable Case for Support Tool

This worksheet will guide you step-by-step through the process of crafting a case for support statement for your organization. 

We invite you to download the tool now and work through it on your own to help you understand the basic concept behind a case for support. You can then follow up in a couple ways: 

  • Share your initial draft with your Mission Increase Area Director for their feedback, suggestions, and help
  • Work through the document with your staff, board, or team to quickly develop a strong case for support 

In the following steps of this course, we’ll review examples of case for support documents from a variety of organizations. Be sure to click on the “i” icon to see commentary, tips, and other helpful notes.