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The Case Statement. Thomas P. Holland, Ph.D. Institute for Nonprofit Organizations University of Georgia. Definition.

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The Case Statement

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The case statement l.jpg

The Case Statement

Thomas P. Holland, Ph.D.

Institute for Nonprofit Organizations

University of Georgia


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Definition

  • The case statement is a brief, clear written statement that communicates the organization’s purpose and its program and financial needs. It provides a persuasive answer to why you are conducting this fundraising campaign and why the organization merits philanthropic support.


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The Case should answer these questions

  • Who is this organization and what is it trying to do? Why does it exist?

  • What is distinctive about the organization?

  • What must be accomplished?

  • How will this campaign enable it be accomplished?

  • How can the donor become involved?

  • What’s in it for donor – why become involved?

  • Action steps and contact information


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Components

  • Mission and vision of this organization

  • Statement of the community need/ problem

  • Goals of the campaign

  • Giving options

  • Urgency: why should you act now?

  • Steps for becoming involved

  • Material should be brief and persuasive, including both rational and emotional elements


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Developing a Case for Support

  • Board, staff and volunteers should be involved in developing the case statement.

  • The case statement focuses on important responses to community needs

  • It draws upon strategic goals of the organization and linking fundraising with planning, marketing, staffing, and services.

  • What form should the case statement take?

    • Large forms for more extensive presentations

    • Small forms to convey concise message


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Variables

  • Audience

    • Prospective individual donors, corporate donors, community leaders, volunteers, media, partners…

  • Style, tone

    • Emotional, businesslike, low-frills, glossy…

  • Length

  • Uses

    • Raising individual gifts, corporate gifts, volunteers, publicity, political support, partners, training staff, special events…

  • Graphics

    • Photos, charts, testimonials, before/after images…


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Case Statement should include

  • Brief description of organization

    • History, board, staff, accomplishments.

  • Mission statement

  • Statement of community need or problem

  • Goals and objectives of proposed response

  • Funding needs to accomplish those goals

    • Amount of need; length of time needed; cash and/or in-kind; resources in hand


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  • Benefits/costs of acting/not acting

    • How will clients benefit? Organization? Community?

  • Statement of organizational capability

    • Does organization have the capacity to fulfill its commitment to these goals?

  • Resources

    • Current funding partners, volunteers, community support

  • Future plans

    • How will this organization or program finance itself over the next 3-5 years?


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What is accomplished with a case statement?

  • Internal benefits:

    • key representatives of the organization speak from same page

    • Process of developing case statement offers opportunity to negotiate/resolve internal differences on goals

    • Links important organizational activities, such as strategic planning, marketing and fundraising.


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  • External benefits:

    • Clear, consistent message to community

    • Organizational legitimacy

    • Visibility for your cause

    • Fund raising easier to accomplish

    • Also helps to raise non-financial resources (partners, volunteers)


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