In much the same way as the legal profession relies on both a factual and compelling case to achieve a goal, a philanthropic organization relies on a factual and compelling case for support to advance its mission and vision.

The case for support strategically positions an organization, its role in the community, its vision, and presents an opportunity for individuals and organizations to be part of realizing the vision. 

It's the job of the case to set your organization and cause apart from others like it. The case should get people talking  - remarking - sharing ideas with friends and colleagues. Those conversations, in turn, lead to the change you and your donors, together, want see in the world. 

There are two kinds of cases:

  • The internal source document: From this strategic document flows all related fundraising communication, including marketing material, web content, videos, direct mail campaigns, proposals, news releases, speeches, etc. This is the document that keeps an organization or a campaign on message and creates shared meaning among the parties involved in orchestrating the campaign, including campaign leadership, board, staff, and volunteers. 
  • The external case expressions: These are the marketing pieces -- the printed  leave-behind material, the website and the videos -- that are informed by the internal case for support.

To develop the source document takes six- to eight-weeks at minimum. The method used brokers the vision and creates ownership among key stakeholders inside the organization and in the community. The time to develop the external case expressions varies depending on the complexity of materials needed to effectively make the cause.