9 Steps to Create A Strong Case for Funding

9 Steps to Create A Strong Case for Funding

If you’re looking to build your organization’s capacity for fundraising, a case for funding is a great place to start. This document provides you with broiler plate language you can use for all sorts of fundraising and marketing purposes (see step 8) and keeps your language consistent and organized for easier and more successful fundraising. Find out if your organization needs a case for funding.

Developing a case for funding is an investment in your organization’s fundraising capacity. Depending on your needs, you can create a case for funding yourself or get support with some (see step 6) or all of it. We also have free Case for Funding Outline to help! Use the form below to download and get started today!

9 Steps to Develop a Strong Case for Funding

1. Create an outline

A case for funding should fit your organization’s programs and needs, but generally has the following information:

  • Mission statement

  • Vision statement

  • Organizational history

  • Why the organization is unique

  • Target population(s) including demographics and geography

  • Needs assessment (the problem)

  • Current goals and objectives for the organization

  • How the organization is evaluated

  • Evaluation results (numbers served, changes made, other results)

  • Stories/testimonies

  • Staff bios

If you have different programs, also include the following information for each program:

  • Program needs assessment (the problem)

  • Program goals and objectives

  • How the program is evaluated

  • Program evaluation results

Additionally, depending on your organization’s needs your case for funding may include:

  • Organizational values

  • Organizational structure/chart

  • Organizational needs (including funding needs)

  • Future plans

  • Fundraising/sustainability plans

  • Funding history

  • What would happen if the problem wasn’t addressed/the organization didn’t exist

  • Theory of change statement

  • Logic model

  • Evaluation plan

When deciding what to include in your outline, answer the following questions:

  1. What information do you regularly use in funding proposals?

  2. What information do you need easy access to?

  3. What information do you want your staff/board to have easy access to for fundraising/marketing purposes?

  4. What information would strengthen your funding requests?

2. Compile all your information

I would bet you have much, if not most, of this information already- whether it’s in grant proposals, on your website, in your strategic plan or annual report, etc. Other staff members may have access to some of the information you need, so be sure to ask around. Similarly, other staff members may need to contribute to some of the sections about their program or area of the organization, so make a clear request for the information you need as soon as possible. Before writing anything new, first see what you information you already have or can get that you can use as a starting point.

3. Copy and paste

Copy and paste as much information into your case for funding outline as you can, ensuring it is relevant and accurate information. You can always edit later, but the more you copy and paste up front, the less you have to write.

4. Add missing information

If there is any missing information, start adding to the document. Again, other staff members may have access to the information or need to be included in this writing process. When this step is complete, all the gaps should be filled in for the case for funding.

5. Strengthen

Now that you have all the information you need, start strengthening the language. Can anything be stated more powerfully? More succinctly? Does everything use the same terminology (e.g., youth vs. students)? In fundraising you want to put your best foot forward, so strengthening the information now will help you reduce the time editing things for individual funding requests.

6. Have someone review

Having another set of eyes on your case for funding can significantly help, and if you can find someone inside your organization/on your board as well as someone unfamiliar with your organization, even better! These reviewers can help you make a stronger case and keep your language consistent, tell you what is confusing or needs to be defined, and help fix any glaring mistakes. Be sure at least one of your reviewers is detail oriented and can identify grammar mistakes.

7. Edit

You don’t want to send a funding request where your organization name is spelled wrong or your use of jargon makes the information inaccessible. Editing is critical- including editing the content, grammar, and spelling. Incorporate the feedback you received from the reviewers and edit for mistakes.

8. Use it!

Don’t leave your case for funding in a folder somewhere- use it! Now that you have strong language about your organization and programs, use it to develop:

  • Grant applications

  • Donor request and appreciation materials

  • Crowdfunding campaigns

  • End of year giving letters

  • Email blasts

  • Newsletters

  • Website updates

  • Annual event presentations

  • Video marketing

  • Social media posts

  • And more

At this stage the information should be strong enough to where you can copy, paste, and tailor it as needed. Be sure to open a new document for each new material so the case for funding is preserved for future use.

9. Update

Your case for funding needs to be updated at least annually. Keep a copy of the current version, and then update a new document with your latest evaluation results, goals, recent history, etc. This is a living document, so updating it every quarter may be even better for your organization depending on your programming and evaluation cycles.

I’m Amanda Wallander Roberts, MSSW, a consultant passionate about building fundraising and evaluation capacity with social organizations. I’ve helped over 60 social organizations fundraise and evaluate programs, including raising over $22million, and developing more than 50 logic models, evaluation plans, and process maps. Learn more about my services or contact me for support today!

Be sure to download the Case for Funding Outline to help you on your way!

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