How to take your Case Statement Beyond Good to Great
A case statement, also known as the case for support, is a document that states important facts about your organization and emphasizes how your organization helps those you serve. Preparing a case statement allows you to illustrate the effectiveness of your work. An excellent and compelling case statement is the key to any organization, especially those who are launching a philanthropy campaign with specific initiatives such as capital, endowment, or program funding. How do you know your case statement is ready? In short, a great case statement tells a story. The reader will connect through stories and emotion. So, start telling a story!
Let’s break the storytelling down a little bit. Here are the six key elements to make your case statement great:
1) First and foremost, a case statement is not a sales pitch. Case studies written as stories succeed. You want to present a narrative and utilize testimonials to explain how your programs have helped those your serve.
2) There are three main parts to your story:
a. Conflict– What challenges does your organization, those you serve and your volunteers face? You must address the NEED so the reader or donor knows how they can help.
b. Solution– This is the main part to your story. How are your services going to help those you serve? Let the reader (donor) know how they can help.
c. Transformation/Results– Talk about how many have been helped and in what ways. You want to provide clear information including results and testimonials.
3) Language: Use powerful language to get the reader/donor to FEEL what those you serve might be experiencing or have experienced. You want to tug at their heart strings and have them visualize a neighbor, friend or a loved one in the same circumstance.
4) Images: Use pictures to enhance your story. Your language should help the reader visualize and show them who has been helped by the services you provide.
5) Honesty: Be honest and real. Your reader/donor wants to know the details of how your services have helped. You want to address how their gift can help, details and all.
6) Length: Be mindful of the length of your case study. It can sometimes be hard to find a good balance between giving information, storytelling, and making an ask. You want to keep it clear, concise, and easy to read. Your reader is likely reading this during their leisure time so make it interesting, use powerful language, and include breaks and pictures. Draw them into your organization’s story.
If you are just starting to write your case statement, refer back to this list to make sure you are hitting the key elements. If you already have your case statement, read through it again and ensure you have these six key elements to make a good case statement a great one!
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Written by: Kelsey Kuske and Michael McNeely, CFRE