By Dr. Eliza Sanders, Grants for Growth Consultant

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek, Author and Inspirational Speaker

Do you know your organization’s “why?” I’m sure you know what your nonprofit does, and even how it does it, but could you describe why? More importantly, could you articulate it to a potential major donor? What about a new board member? A fellow fundraiser?

If the answer is yes, let’s go further: do you think if that same major donor asked the same question to three different people in your organization, they would give the same answer?

At Let’s Build Hope, we see so many nonprofits that can explain the importance of a capital campaign or a new, expensive initiative…but when it comes to explaining the “why” for organizations annual programming, they falter. Sometimes, the mission seems so obvious to those closest to it that they can’t come up with compelling language to describe it to an outsider.

That’s a problem. Without a shared ability to articulate your “why,” the most difficult money to raise – annual operating funds – becomes even more challenging.

What’s the solution?

An annual Case for Support.

You may not have heard of such a document – it’s much less common than it should be – but it’s a critical early step for nonprofits partnering with Let’s Build Hope to build their annual fundraising sustainability. We require a case because we understand how transformative one can be for an organization, and the fact that so few nonprofits have one makes those that do stand out in their fields.

So what, exactly, is a Case for Support?

An annual Case for Support is:

  • An organizational script that provides the shared language for everyone in an organization.
  • A content repository that can be drawn from for a variety of external documents (appeals, annual reports, marketing, donor proposals, etc.).
  • An orientation tool for board members that provides an overview of a nonprofit’s history, programming, challenges, and the “why” for all of them.
  • A source to provide a clear, detailed understanding of what is financially necessary for the nonprofit to continue being effective year after year.

How do you create one?

Not alone.

The best cases are built from an all-day case session, where the CEO, leaders from the finance, program, and fundraising departments, and board members discuss each element of the case carefully and thoughtfully. Having all these perspectives is essential to writing a case that describes your organization accurately and in a way that is compelling to donors.

Does this sound like something your organization needs (we believe every organization needs one!), but you need some help getting started? Contact Let’s Build Hope today! We’d love to hear how we can help you communicate your story in a way that builds both relationships and revenue!

#LBH #LetsBuildHope #CaseForSupport #YourOrganzation #YourWhy #GlimmersOfHope #Blog