Funds for All & All for Funds

Welcome to my blog! I'd like you to consider this an interactive space for sharing information, successes, ideas, strategies, and links to help us all raise more funds for nonprofits.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Grants: Before You Dive Into the Deep End

Before you take the plunge and go after grants, you may want to improve your chances by developing one document that can ensure that you receive serious consideration: an organizational case statement.

What is a case statement? It's a well-written document that collects all the information about your organization and project needed to give credibility to your request and persuade a grantmaker to commit funds. It provides the rationale for making a grant or donation to your nonprofit. It answers the question: why is what you do the best that can be done and what is vitally needed?

A case statement document is usually created by a professional fundraising consultant or executive, and must set your program in the context of the larger world: it places your program not only as the best or among the best in your field, but also in serving the needs of your community or region. It  includes detailed information on the population you serve, the issue you address, or the need for your research project. And it justifies your budget in narrative form (this part is too often omitted from case statements).

It's very important to collect everything in one place. It's also important to set a schedule for regularly updating it: every six months, ideally.

The case statement should include your mission, vision, history, budgetary information in narrative form (including sources of ongoing funding), your values and goals. It should state clearly and persuasively, in jargon-free, correct English, the journalistic basics: who, what, when, where, and why of your fundraising efforts.

Ask yourself:
How does this organization help people?
Who do we help?
What vital or unique services do we offer?
What is our track record?
What are our plans ?
How do we use our money? 
Why do we deserve support?
Who else contributes to our cause/