Every successful capital campaign needs a strong case for support. But writing the perfect case statement can seem daunting, especially if your task isn’t an obviously big draw like building a new church or adding a school wing.
A case statement is the core communication for a successful capital campaign. It is an organization’s prime opportunity to toot its horn about successes and positive impacts. It is also an open door to demonstrate the need for the organization and explain its current plan to strengthen its mission-based work. Capital improvements, increased funding, new programs and enhanced services all deserve donor attention.
Here are five key elements for writing a strong case for support:
Share your vision, mission and story
Use the case statement to remind and inform your community about your organization’s history and purpose. Whether it is the founding of a parish, school or a nonprofit, devote a few sentences to this piece of important history and context. Next, briefly explain your organization’s aims and vision which are often articulated through your mission statement.
An excellent way to present vision, mission and story is through a letter from a leader in your organization, like a pastor, school principal or executive director. This approach instills further trust and respect for your leadership and is a great way to present information in a personal way.
Demonstrate your positive impact
Here is where you really let your organization shine. After an overview of areas where your organization positively affects lives, hearts and minds, begin sharing successful outcomes of your ministries, outreach or services. Consider these areas:
• Spiritual formation and sacraments that help shape and guide a faith-filled life.
• Youth and adult ministries which strengthen community and provide education.
• Community outreach services that help feed, clothe and shelter people in need.
• Mission-based services that bring healing and hope.
Lean on easy-to-read graphics to demonstrate your positive impact. Visual storytelling grabs attention and is easier to digest than lengthy text. Using a timeline is an efficient way to communicate milestones and positive impacts.
Statement of need
This is the heart of the case statement where you detail capital campaign plans and goals. Now that donors understand your organization’s history, milestones and ongoing positive impact, they are ready to learn why you are asking them for support. Be sure to explain how the campaign initiatives were identified and by whom, project timeline and costs, and the positive and lasting outcomes of completed initiatives. Planning is a key strategy to a successful campaign. A campaign planning study will set you up for success by engaging your leaders and donors, identifying the top priorities and gauging interest in support of a campaign.
Return on investment
Capital campaigns invite donors to invest deeply in your organization. As they look to make sacrificial gifts, beyond their ongoing support, donors are often interested to learn what their support will help render. Provide evidence that their generous gift will improve lives, hearts and minds through:
• Campaign planning study data and donor comments.
• Excellent stewardship and successful outcomes from previous fundraising.
• Growth in mission-based areas such as enrollment, membership or outreach services.
Personal testimonials and photos create compelling messaging. A thank you letter from a student or past recipient of services speaks volumes, as do quotes from campaign volunteer leadership.
Ways to give
This essential call-to-action in a case for support provides donors with ways they can invest in your organization. If your campaign is a multi-year effort, lay out examples of financial commitments and ways donors can match their love of your mission with a gift.
Writing a case for support is an exciting exercise in presenting the best of your organization. Populated with faces of the people you serve, the volunteers and leadership will leave donors with the feeling they have spent time with friends. And remember that relationships are the core of successful fundraising.
Are you looking to run a capital campaign in 2023? Or do you have questions about how inspire your donors through a strong case for support? Please contact me at any time.