Articles by: Kathryn Perkins
A case for support, sometimes referred to as a case statement, is one of the single most important documents a nonprofit can create. It is a simple plan that becomes the foundation for all other materials your organization produces over the course of a fundraising campaign or extended period of time.
Appealing to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, your case for support is just that – your reasoning for why people should support your cause.
Through a mix of powerful storytelling and graphics, a case for support allows you to engage and motivate donors in order to raise funds for a pressing need. As you begin an outline to write your case for support, it is important to know which ideas and messages must be included.
What to Include When Writing a Case for Support
1. An Emotional Introduction
Many people make the mistake of beginning case statements with the history of the organization. A better option is to tell a story that appeals to both the head and heart. By using storytelling to state your specific need, nonprofits can create a personal connection with readers which will make them feel emotionally invested.
Captivate your audience with an opening that grabs their attention and compels them to keep reading. New and potential donors will decide whether or not your case for support is worth reading based on the first paragraph or two.
2. History of the Organization
Let people know how it all began. Provide a brief summary of the founding of your nonprofit and its accomplishments thus far. Illustrate that you are credible — describe the key values and beliefs that propel your organization to fulfill its purpose. Donors with similar values and beliefs will feel a connection and be drawn to learn more.
3. Mission & Impact
Answer the question, “Why does your organization exist?” Give readers a detailed account of the programs and services you are currently running and why they are important. By illustrating your mission, you are explaining what you are doing for the betterment of individuals, your community and society.
4. Vision & Objectives
Outline your big goal for the future. When you describe your organization’s vision, you are really telling people where you are going and allowing donors and prospective donors to come along with you. Tell people why they should care about your organization and consider making a donation.
5. Financial Needs
How much money does your organization need to raise to extend its impact? Donors want specific explanations of how their money will be utilized and why you need to raise funds now. Use statistics, charts and testimonials to prove that what you are doing is worthwhile and deserving of donations. By telling donors why funding is necessary and what results will be achieved, you are inviting them to make a difference with you.
6. Call to Action
Provide donors with a list of different ways they can support your efforts. Monetary donations are great, but so are corporate sponsorships, gifts of stock, and planned gifts such as bequests and charitable annuities.
Do you have a mentoring program? Let donors know the various ways they can volunteer with your organization, whether it be chairing a committee or attending a sponsored event. Reiterate your overall goal and let donors know how they can help you reach it.
Create a Captivating Case
There is no one formula for writing a case for support. Some organizations may feel the need to add additional information and that’s okay. What’s important is that these six criteria are included in a coherent and compelling manner.
Need help creating a vision so appealing that donors are motivated to become part of your mission? Give us a call!
The holiday season is upon us, which means individuals may feel encouraged to give more freely to their favorite charities. We love this generous end-of-year spirit, but we’re also committed to giving back to our local communities throughout the rest of the year. Which is one reason why we are continuing our 12 Months of Giving program in 2018.
Each month next year we will provide a Northeast Ohio nonprofit with:
- Three (3) hours of free strategic consulting on a current challenge
- Promotion through Prosper for Purpose’s website, social media accounts and various other channels
During our 2017 program, we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing organizations such as the May Dugan Center, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Would you like to add your name to this list and prosper with us next year?
Just complete and submit this entry form to be considered for our 2018 12 Months of Giving program. Or, tell your favorite Northeast Ohio charity to apply!
It’s important to us to work with purpose-driven clients in both the business and nonprofit sectors. When our clients do well, their communities prosper. So, join us as we do well by doing good together in 2018.
“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Given the number of political, social and economic issues we currently face on a daily basis, the wise words of Gandhi have never seemed more pertinent. But how can we as individuals unite to make a difference on a local, national or even global level?
The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, is observed worldwide each year on September 21 as a day of ceasefire and nonviolence. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day allows people, businesses, governments and communities to set aside differences and commit to building peace.
Join us and countless others who believe in a ‘do well by doing good’ philosophy by celebrating Peace Day tomorrow. Here are a few ideas to help you get involved:
- Take the #PeaceDayChallenge, which was launched by the United States Institute of Peace as a way to promote peace, raise awareness and inspire action. Downloadable resources, a social media toolkit, and ideas on how to get involved are available on their website.
- Watch a Peace Talk, inspirational personal stories, ideas and solutions to resolve conflict and contribute to peace.
- Join the conversation on social media. Share your story by tweeting or posting for peace. Follow #PeaceDay, #IDP2017, #ForgiveForPeace and #TogetherforPeace to read how others are making peace possible.
- Observe a minute of silence/moment of peace at noon for those fighting and/or hoping for peace.
- Make and share a ‘recipe for peace.’ International Alert features delicious recipes from around the world because sharing a meal can ‘promote understanding, introduce us to new cultures and get people talking.’
- Explore the free Peace Education Resources available to schools and individuals around the world in the six official languages of the United Nations. The resources explore issues such as intercultural cooperation, conflict resolution and bullying.
- Attend a Peace Day event. Educational conferences, workshops, marches and community gatherings are planned worldwide. Consider holding an event in your community to raise awareness about peace issues that matter most to you if no events are in your area.
- Make a donation to an organization working for peace and humanitarian efforts, such as UNICEF, Refugees International, the International Committee of the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.
We live in a time when conflict, war, and uncertainty dominate the headlines. Now is the time to work together to set aside our differences. We must find practical solutions to a more peaceful world. So, tell us, how will you make peace possible?
The idea of a purpose-driven brand is nothing new. But over the past few years the idea of creating a culture that gives back has enjoyed a strong resurgence. And for good reason: A company’s commitment to doing well by doing good is a defining advantage in today’s competitive marketplace. Blending for-profit motives with nonprofit values is essential for:
- Employee recruitment, motivation and retention
- Supplier and investor relations
- Market differentiation
- Customer engagement and retention
Studies show 90% of U.S. shoppers would switch to a cause branded product. When it comes to contemplating where to work, 64% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments. Simply put, people want to support brands that have a purpose.
Just like having a mission and values, possessing a purpose is a vital component of any business. That’s why Prosper for Purpose was established around the idea of using our time, talents and profits to help address social issues and make a difference in the world.
Since our inception, Team Prosper has been committed to giving back to our clients and local community. In 2015, we began The Prosper Project to provide pro bono work to a cause or nonprofit each year. In 2016, we became a Certified B Corporation, joined One Percent for the Planet, and rolled out our 12 Months of Giving program as another way to provide our services to local nonprofits.
We’re proud of our commitments to being both socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. Our efforts connect and bond us to communities of like-minded people, raise awareness for worthy causes, increase team morale, and make a positive impact on people and the planet.
If giving back isn’t ingrained in your company’s DNA, don’t worry—it’s still possible to make a difference. The first step is to choose a worthy cause that supports your mission and values. Then make a long-term commitment to that cause, not just a fleeting sponsorship. Keeping your mission front and center for employees, partners and customers to see will help your efforts feel more authentic and allow you to make a significant impact.
By making your mission matter and creating a culture of purpose, you’ll be on your way to doing well by doing good.
Bill Gates is quoted with saying, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.” While there is some debate about whether or not Gates actually uttered those words, there is no doubt it is sage advice.
The success of your business depends on how well you communicate with your customers. This is why we (and other PR agencies) exist. But agencies aren’t just competing against each other for your business. We are also contending against in-house PR teams. So why is an agency a better hire? Here are five ways hiring an agency benefits your organization.
More Bang for Your Buck
We hear it all the time: internal hires are less expensive. Are they though? When you hire an employee, you only get the experience of one individual person. When you hire a PR and communications agency, you get the knowledge and skill of an entire team. With Prosper for Purpose, that means more than 80 years of combined experience (wow, that’s a LOT of experience!). To match what we bring to the table you would need to hire a strategist, a writer, a designer, a social media guru, a publicist, a researcher, an event manager and more. Does an internal hire still sound like the less expensive option?
Handling PR internally requires finding, hiring and training the right employee. PR agencies, on the other hand, have the ability to quickly ramp up capabilities when necessary. On any given day you may work with everyone from the intern to the CEO. Our team is always up-to-speed on the latest and greatest trends not only in PR, but also in a variety of industries. As we like to say, we wear as many hats as experience permits and our closets can hold.
We’re Masters of Messaging…and More
Good PR practitioners are good writers. Prosper’s tagline, “communications for a better world,” is based on the belief that words have the power to transform relationships. We’re storytellers at heart. Creatively trying to find a buzzworthy story warms our hearts as much as the eighth cup of coffee we just consumed. But that’s not all. Our strengths range from brand development, strategic planning and crisis communications to media relations, fundraising management and organizational training. Simply put, we offer a large suite of services. Pretty sweet, huh?
Good communications start with good networks. Hiring a PR agency with a team of connected people can greatly increase your chance of connecting with the media and consumers. PR is what we do all day, every day. We’re pros at pitching. We know which reporters cover the nonprofit sector and which journalists prefer to write about consumer products. And we can make that knowledge work for you.
A PR agency can become an extension of your company, while also providing independent perspectives. We can help you build a brand, launch a new product or make your business stand out in a crowded market all while remaining impartial. It’s easy for business owners to become die-hard fans of their companies and believe everything about it is newsworthy. Sometimes an outsider’s outlook can help you see things in a different light.
These are just a few of the many reasons why a business should hire a PR agency. If you’re looking for a communications firm, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you about our capabilities and how we can help your organization prosper.