How to Flex Your Case for Support to Raise More Money

Published: June 25, 2024

Guest Author: Leila Fitzpatrick

If you’ve been fundraising for a while, you know a smart, compelling case for support is a go-to essential for your fundraising toolbox. You probably also know it’s not as simple as “if we write it, people will give.” So, how do you use your case to build investment and motivate donors? 

As a case writer, I get that question a lot. My answer: Share your case broadly but strategically. Here are 10 ways to flex your case to ignite that special spark, connect with your supporters, and ultimately, raise more money.

How to Flex Your Case for Support to Raise More Money by Foucs Fundraising in the Washington DC area.

10 ways to flex your case

1. Involve your donors in the process.

As you set the timeline to craft your case, build in opportunities to get input from your target audience. Ask your donors! Your goal, after all, is to capture their attention and excite them about your work. They’re the experts. Select 5 to 10 donors with a range of perspectives and experiences with your organization and ask them to be readers. (Word to the wise: choose just enough readers to get the feedback you need but not so many you make yourself crazy.) Be sure your readers know they’re part of a select group—both to call out how much you value their opinion and to convey the expectation you’ll be incorporating the group’s collective wisdom. (And, of course, always thank them profusely.) 

Questions to Ask Donors

  • What did you read that excited you? 
  • What questions do you have that weren’t answered? 
  • Did the case make you want to be involved?   

2. Be intentional to maximize this touchpoint.

Once you have a new case with leadership’s seal of approval, rein in your temptation to broadcast it to the masses. While some organizations post their case on the website or LinkedIn, you don’t want to miss the chance to create a special touchpoint. Your case is a stewardship opportunity. Being thoughtful about how you share your case and with whom will actually add value.

3. Connect with loyal donors, allies + stakeholders.

When it’s hot off the presses, share your case with your inner circle and major donors. Take this moment to make insiders feel your love and appreciation. A few ideas include: 

    • A handwritten note letting them know you’re proud to share this exciting new piece with them;
    • A quick note on a post-it to point out a section of special interest within the case;
    • A more formal letter reminding them how much their support matters.

4. Engage new audiences.

Send your case to new donors, prospects, and stakeholders to cultivate connections and spark interest in your organization. You might send the case ahead of a meeting to provide some context about your work or use it as a leave-behind that folks can share with others. You might include the case when you send a letter of intent to a funder or gala sponsorship package to a corporation to provide some additional information.

5. Rekindle the flame.

Use your case to reconnect with folks who’ve been a little distant. Former Board members. Former volunteers. Lapsed donors. You might even do a special mailing with a customized cover note that reminds them why they care about what you do and thanking them for making success possible. 

6. Empower every member of your team to become an effective ally to meet your organization’s fundraising goals.

The story you tell and the language you use shapes how your allies and advocates articulate what you do, the impact you make, and why their support matters. Share your case with Board members, senior leadership, program staff, development staff, grantwriters, communicators, volunteers, and interns to help them hone the narrative they use when communicating about the organization. 

7. Use your case to guide other donor communications—now and in the future.

Your case should anchor the messaging for every fundraising piece—from direct mail campaigns, to special events, to everything in between. Every story you tell throughout the year—whether on the website, in grant proposals, in thank you notes, or on stage at the gala—should be rooted in the key messages that frame your case. Keep track of which messages and stories resonate with different audiences and use that data to tailor future communications. The more you know about your audience, the stronger connections you can make.

8. Look to your case to set your tone.

While you’ll adapt your language depending on your audience, the essence of your messaging is part of your brand. So all of your communications should reflect consistent messaging—whether you’re writing an impact report to demonstrate all you’ve achieved this year, or a grant proposal that describes the mechanics of a specific program, or an appeal for your end-of-year campaign. 

9. Treat your case as a living document.

If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, it’s how fast the world can change. And, even if your case was written to be as evergreen as possible, you’ll want to read it with fresh eyes every so often to catch any tell-tale timestamps. A phrase about “the upcoming election” or photos of people donning masks can make your case feel stale and your organization seem disconnected. So review the language every so often and finetune your messaging as needed. 

10. Don’t forget follow up!

Always remember that your case is a building block to help scaffold your donor relationships. Whether you use your case to introduce yourself, facilitate the conversation, or make an ask, what you do after you’ve shared your case is just as important

Ultimately, your case is an opportunity to draw your donors closer with the kind of thoughtful stewardship at the heart of good fundraising. 

Still have questions or want to talk about crafting a case? Let’s chat!

Contact Leila today to set up a free 30-minute consultation.


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