A Case for Case Statement Refresh by Kellie Brungard, GPC

Case statements are a vital component of a nonprofit fundraising strategy. They are living documents that describe the essential elements of an organization or specific program. These comprehensive descriptions cover topics most funders request – organization history, goals and outcomes, sustainability plan, organizational structure, etc. The purpose is not to create a generic grant to send out to every funder you know but to serve as a starting point for tailoring information to a specific request. A case statement helps information remain consistent among multiple proposals and establishes a master document for updating annual information, statistics, and outcomes. These documents can also be tailored for individual donor prospects, bring a new partner up to speed, or inform new staff on the organization. Creating a comprehensive case statement requires an investment of time. The good news is that annual maintenance is much easier once it is complete.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your case statement fresh in the coming year:

Update People

Review the case statement’s key personnel, board of directors, and leadership sections alongside your organizational chart. Update any names, titles, or responsibilities that may have changed throughout the year. This is an excellent time to collect resumes of new staff on projects if you keep a file for applications.

Review the Logic Model

Have your programs changed over the last year? Review the activities, resources, outcomes, and goals to identify any updates needed. Add in any new programs that have been added or expanded in the past year, or create additional logic models for these.

Needs and Community

A suitable needs statement has a mix of compelling data, statistics, and client experience to articulate the need an organization is addressing. These items need to be updated with year-end data, sources checked for the most recent information or refreshed based on the current focus. Similarly, updating the target population and community demographic information regularly is essential.

Sustainability Plan

If you prepared a budget for the new fiscal year, there is a good chance a development plan was created alongside. Take time to review the development plan and update the sustainability section of the case statement. If you plan new fundraising initiatives or goals to grow the donor database, incorporate those elements to keep the sustainability plan current and accurate.

A case statement is often the first step when onboarding a new client at Assel Grant Services. This helps us learn about your organization while creating a document that can benefit the whole department or organization. If you are interested in learning more about case statements, we have a four-part training that guides you through the process. If you are interested in working with one of our staff members to create a case statement, Julie Assel, CGMS, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

This BLOG is aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills

Competency #3: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development

Skill 3.4: Identify structures, values, and applications of logic models as they relate to elements of project design.

Competency #8: Knowledge of methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders.

Skill 8.4: Identify methods of relationship cultivation, communication, recognition, and stewardship that might appeal to specific funders.

Competency #9: Ability to write a convincing case for funding.

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