Preparations are currently underway for the 2015 TED conference in Vancouver. Walking by the site preparations earlier this week, I reflected upon the aerial sculpture outside the TED conference last year. The artwork made a statement for the conference. Many were intrigued and wondered what was happening behind the conference doors. It signified something special and we wanted to know more!
You know the great accomplishments and missions of the charities you work for as a staff member or volunteer. How do you entice others to “look behind the door” of your charity and yearn to know more? One great tool is developing a case for support.
Making the Case in support of your charity
In my twenty years as a senior fundraiser, I have noticed some recurring themes:
(1) The increasing competitiveness within the charitable sector for dollars, staff and volunteers;
(2) The heightened interest of charities to secure major gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals in a cost effective way;
(3) The limited staff and volunteer resources to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors;
(4) The desire to “move up” current annual donors to give major and planned gifts; and
(5) The challenge to meet donor prospects face-to-face.
One of the best methods to secure major and planned gifts is to engage individuals in your organization’s aspirations and needs. These individuals may be current supporters or new donor prospects. Charities need to have a regular opportunity through face-to-face meetings to make their case and to understand individual and institutional interests be they a corporation or foundation or a couple who are long-term or new supporters of your organization.
Simple right? But what is the most effective way to secure face-to-face meetings with major donor prospects?
To create the opportunity to solicit and secure major and planned gifts, an important part in the process starts with developing a short case for support in draft form. Requesting feedback on a draft case is a great reason to meet donor prospects. What you “hear” at these meetings will help guide your organization’s approach to present its mission and engage individuals in the work of your organization leading to financial support through major and planned gifts.
Purpose of the draft Case for Support
(1) To tell your organization’s story
A draft case should tell a succinct story about your organization and answer the following questions:
What is the mission of your organization?
Why is the work of your organization needed?
Is there any urgency to have this work done?
(2) To provide a focus for your organization
The answers to the questions above will focus your organization on its primary needs and objectives while developing a narrative to engage current and new supporters.
(3) To present a compelling reason to meet and provide feedback on your organization
The case in draft form will provide a legitimate reason and opportunity to meet current donors and donor prospects and allow for opportunities to receive feedback on your organization’s current needs and future goals.
(4) To encourage engagement in your mission and donor support for your organization
When there is interest in your organization and engagement in the case, the next step is to discuss specific ways individuals may wish to support your organization as volunteers, thoughts on donor prospects and their own interest or that of their institution to financially support your organization in a meaningful way.
A compelling case for support will open many doors for your charity by engaging current and new supporters in the great work you do. The time to make your case is now.
For more information on developing a tailor-made case for your organization, please contact Grant Monck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-875-6220.