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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

The Case Statement

Thomas P. Holland, Ph.D.

Institute for Nonprofit Organizations

University of Georgia

  • 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.
the case should answer these questions
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
  • 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
developing a case for support
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
  • 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…
case statement should include
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
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?
what is accomplished with a case statement
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.
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)