Nonprofit organizations need to shift fundraising strategies during COVID-19.
A solid Case for Support is a great place to start.
We had said, “hello” a million times before, sat across from each other sharing laughs and professionalisms over coffee and beers – and yet, my palms were sweating as I went to place a call.
I needed to check in with her. I needed to see how the pandemic had impacted her. And, I needed to ask if she was still willing to move forward with our previously discussed and very generous donation.
COVID-19 has basically caused nonprofit organizations to slam on the breaks, do a couple wheelies and wrack their brains about how in the heck to keep fundraising and interacting with the people who support their cause.
Have you recently thought …
- If I say this, will they wrongly think I mean that?
- Is it rude to ask for money?
- If we host a virtual event, will anyone even care? And wait, how do we host a virtual event?
- When should I ask for money and when should I tell my story?
- How do I tell my story?
There’s probably a multitude of questions on your mind right now, and the truth is you’re not alone. We are living in a very uncertain reality.
But one thing that hasn’t changed?
There are a certain amount of people who care about the wellbeing of other people, and there are still a certain amount of people in need. And you as a nonprofit organization are the bridge that connects them.
No, the people do not want to see you crumble but yes, you are still in charge of maintaining the foundation that keeps you standing.
Maintain Your Foundation
Pay attention to your message when you do any outreach as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and be sure this message clearly explains your story and goals, and resonates with readers.
Help people see the purpose of these efforts, and especially to understand your nonprofit’s importance during COVID times.
Create an understanding that your organization will stand the test of time: there was a need for you before, and there will be a need for your work after the pandemic dust settles.
The above three concepts are all rooted in one thing: your story. Your organization needs to take time to write a comprehensive story in a compelling and influential way, so that readers are convinced of your cause. In jargon terms, you need to spend time creating a Case for Support.
What is a Case for Support?
A Case for Support is an essay / paper / story that is used as a fundraising tool for nonprofits to more effectively explain how donated funds will make a difference.
Generally, writing a Case for Support means including key elements as you move from emotional story to statistics and research and then explaining the case for WHY your organization. Here is an overview of what to include:
- Emotional Hook: presenting the problem
- Vision for a better future
- History of the organization
- Importance and urgency: Why Now
- Explanation of signature program / Solutions
- Outcomes and Proof of Impact
- Call to Action
Before starting a grant strategy with a new client, I always first create their Case for Support. This is a key tool in narrowing down the narrative that funders will want to read in order to decide on awarding your foundation a grant.
Check out some examples of the Case for Supports that I’ve written for inspiration. You can also download my FREE grant toolkit, which includes a template for a Case for Support with prompt questions.