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Case for Support - Do You Know it?

What is your message to your donors? Why should they give to your nonprofit? I mean really, why? You MUST be able to answer this question to get the support your organization deserves. If you really don’t have one, that’s ok–until after you read this blog, after which time you’ll no longer have an excuse.

Forming a case for support is a wonderful opportunity for you to engage with board members, staff, and leadership in the forming and shaping process.

Effective messaging should express one key idea per message. Everyone in your organization from the volunteers to board members should be in agreement upon points in the case.

Here are some key elements of effective messaging:

  • Write 3-5 messages that take donors from Point A to Point B (from very little engagement to deep involvement).

  • Establish that an issue exists, and explain why it matters.

  • Explain why your nonprofit is up-to-the-task of addressing the issue. Differentiate yourself from other institutions with a similar mission.

  • Assure potential donors that you have a plan in place to bring about real change.

  • Use simple messages; less is more.

For example,

Our school assists its students in their efforts to learn the skills they need to become leaders.


We believe every student has the power to lead.

If you’re wondering which statement is stronger, ask yourself this question: which message makes its point most simply? (hint: the 2nd one)

Here’s another example:

We firmly believe our wonderful community needs a first-rate healthcare provider 100% committed to taking exceptional care of all of its residents.


We believe everyone in our community deserves great healthcare. (Again, the 2nd statement is much clearer).

How is your Case for Support looking these days? Can everyone in your organization explain it clearly?

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