How to write an inspiring case for a less-than inspiring vision.

Case for SupportThe other day, I read an interesting piece on the Donor Dreams Blog titled, Don’t set the  bar too high for your next fundraising appeal. This post resonated with me, as I am working on a project that involves defining and articulating a vision for a client organization. We are walking a fine line between creating a vision that has donor appeal while at the same time is reachable and do-able for the organization. It’s a case of not biting off more than you can chew, of learning to walk before you run. There is wisdom in not setting the bar higher than can you can scaled; achieving and celebrating success is vital. But a low-set bar makes case-development more challenging.

So, how do you develop your case statement (case for support) when you are working with a less-than inspiring vision? You anchor your case in your mission.

  • Describe why your mission (rather than vision) matters.
  • Tell compelling mission-based stories that show impact.
  • Focus on the result more than the process.
  • Provide the necessary facts and figures as they relate to your mission, e.g. increasing demand for service, rising cost etc.
  • Make sure your case is joyous and hopeful in an authentic way.
  • Describe the need/opportunity and what will happen if the need is not met.
  • Show how giving has helped advance the mission in the past.
  • Be sure to make a direct ask for support.

The Donor Dream Blog reminds us to write a case statement as if we are writing a story. Think of your characters. Make them come alive to me, the reader. Help me root for them. Help me understand what will happen to them if the appeal succeeds and if it fails. Always be real,  make the story believable and show me how I can help.

How do you determine whether to write a mission or vision-based case? Does your case read like a good story? Is it a page turner? So good, you can’t out it down? Or do your eyes glaze over before you get to page 3?

Below are additional links to blogs on case and storytelling themes.

Grandworthy: Writing the springboard case
Donald Miller’s Storyline Blog: What makes this paragraph so great?
Future Fundraising Now: Pixar’s 22 rules of fundraising

All the best,

Febe Galvez-Voth

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