Marketing Your Organization
or Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Creating Your Case for Support – Part Two of a Two Part Series
Raising money requires a clear, concise and compelling statement that communicates where your organization wants to be in three to five years and what it will cost to get there. It should resonate with your prospective donors, create excitement, a desire to be affiliated with the organization; and most importantly, it needs to stimulate giving. Because there are so many worthy causes for people to give their time, money and resources to, your case needs to show how your organization or institution is unique, how the need you address is critical, and how a donor’s involvement will make a difference.
The case for support is not a literary piece – it is a sales and marketing document that clearly and concisely communicates what you are selling, why someone should give and what the impact of their gift will be. It is rooted in the organization’s mission, reflects its values and place in the market, and is based on financial projections.
Depending on the size and complexity of your organization this document should be from one-to-two pages. It should be written using easy-to-understand language, and should not include any abbreviations that are not spelled out. It should answer the following questions:
1. What are you raising money for?
2. Why are these funds needed?
3. How will the money be used?
4. What is your organization’s mission?
5. What need does your organization address?
6. How does it address it?
7. Who do you serve or advocate for?
8. What is your history?
9. Why should an individual, foundation or business provide financial support?
10. What is unique about your organization?
11. What are you seeking to accomplish? This year? Over three years? Five years?
12. What are your quantifiable successes?
13. How is the organization qualified to deliver on its mission?
14. What makes the organization competent and fiscally sound?
15. What are the staff’s qualifications?
16. Who are your board members?
17. How does giving to your organization provide a donor, funder, or sponsor with “value?”
a. What are the benefits of providing financial
b. How are donors recognized for their financial
and in-kind support?
c. What are the “intangible” benefits? For
example, being part of a community of like-
minded individuals; alignment with spiritual or
While the above is a long list of questions the document should be short – no more than one to two pages.
Once prepared, the case for support should serve as the primary set of talking points so that your message is communicated consistently by everyone who represents your organization. It is important that people hear and read the same case from diverse sources. Use your case for support when preparing proposals, talking with donors, creating direct mail appeals, updating your website, writing press releases, or making a speech.
© Copyright Mel and Pearl Shaw. Mel and Pearl Shaw are the owners of Saad & Shaw. They help non-profit organizations and institutions rethink revenue sources. They are the authors of How to Solicit a Gift: Turning Prospects into Donors. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.