A good case statement must be one that grabs a prospective donor’s attention, and then offers a solid reason for investing in a program.
According to Jerold Panas in his book Born to Raise: What Makes a Great Fundraiser; What Makes a Fundraiser Great, a case statement must have eight essential elements. Panas cautions that these elements will not necessarily show up as separate items and that they may overlap or even be repeated. Nevertheless, they must be present.
The elements are:
- The title. It develops the theme and the tone for the case statement. Its job is to get the reader to turn to page one and begin reading.
- Grabbing the reader. This happens in the first few paragraphs. Often, a compelling quote in the early part of the case works wonders.
- The irrefutable case. Here is the need and the urgency.
- Your unique position. This describes how the organization is positioned to meet the need head on. It must burn itself into the minds and hearts of the readers.
- Waving the flag. Here you describe the history of the organization, its mission and its history.
- Reinforcing the urgency. This reminds the reader of how pressing the need is and how it must be dealt with immediately.
- Making it happen.
This describes what will be required financially to relieve the need.
- The benediction. This provides the closing and final blessing to the program. The theme is employed again for emphasis.
Source: The Nonprofit Times.