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Your case for support is a document which takes the form of a proposal to a potential donor, when requesting a large or largish donation. It can also be adapted and used when seeking business sponsorship. The document should cast a bold
vision for a better future, and invite donors to get caught up in that vision.
Serves – all charities and social enterprises seeking funding
Preparation – gathering full details of your organisation and why you need a donation
Cooking time – approximately 3 days
- inspirational first paragraph
- mission and vision
- planned future activities
- services in kind
- donor advantages
- independent person
- Summary version
- To begin with, draft a compelling and inspirational first paragraph or two to introduce your organisation, and say why you need support and why you need it urgently. Donor prospects will use this first section to decide whether or not the rest of the document is worth reading.
- Follow this up with your group’s mission and vision, then a brief summary of your organisation’s history highlighting your major achievements. If your group is too new for this, instead explain how and why you set up, including the key figures involved.
- Then tell the reader what services, projects and other planned future activities you are running or planning to run, and give a short explanation of each.
- Show proof that what you are doing is worthwhile. Show outcomes and impacts with statistical evidence, charts, tables and research findings, but more importantly tell the stories of those you have helped, using case studies and testimonials as well as backing up with numbers
- Say what finance you require to make your work happen (or continue to happen), saying how much you need from the donor prospect and how much you are seeking from other sources. Say why your group need to raise that amount (what will it be used for?), and why do you need to raise it now?
- In some circumstances your pitch may about more than cash, for example you may want to add other ways in which the donor could contribute, such as by providing services in kind or professional or technical expertise.
- Finally, summarise the key advantages that would be available to the donor – for example recognition, feeling of having made a difference, and (in the case of businesses) marketing, increased market share, and brand benefits. Explain how the donor can give – e.g. BACS transfer, cheque etc
- Review your draft, it should be between 4 and 10 pages long. Get an independent person (a donor if possible) to read the document before it is distributed and published, they may spot errors or suggest useful improvements
- You may need to tweak the Case for Support depending on the intended audience, and if your document is lengthy you may need to produce a briefer, summary version for some audiences as well.
- This summary version could be put on your website and attached to your grant applications, and adapted into a publicity leaflet or brochure for distribution at events and various display areas