By: Drew Wherry – 20 April 2015
Case statements are important tools in the fundraiser’s tool box. Done correctly they can save you time and manpower which in the world of philanthropy can be just as valuable as money.
Sandy Rees, CFRE, a Knoxville, Tenn. based fundraising coach and consultant, is the author of “The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits.” In it she offers a series of tips for creating a successful, compelling case statement.
- Know your audience: Put yourself in your donor’s shoes, and ask why you as a donor would support the charity.
- Write for an audience of one: Think about a specific donor and write to the person.
- Be sure to answer, “What will my gift accomplish?” Donors want to know what will be done with their gift and how it can make a difference.
- Use the word “you” frequently. It pulls the reader in and helps the donor see the role they play in your organization making a difference.
- Include key statistics if they will support your explanation of need.
- Write with passion: Your goal is to move the reader to give.
- Leave out jargon and industry terms: The reader should be able to understand what you’re saying without knowing your organization.
- Focus on program benefits, not program details.
Use these simple tips to help craft a well written case statement that will save you time in the future.
About the Author
Drew Wherry is a junior at the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and is currently working on certificates in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy Communications. He is the Chairman of Tee it Up for the Troops – Iowa City Golf Event, the No Labels State Director of Iowa and Vice President of the University of Iowa Veteran Association (UIVA). After graduation Drew hopes to work in the nonprofit sector specifically with organizations that specialize in Veteran’s issues.