Hello Fundraising Folks!
So we’ve decided to explore the idea of having a ‘Case of Support’ a document, which essentially sells your non-profit and clearly, and concisely explains why the work you do is vital to your community! It’s a donor facing document, meaning it’s more for the people you want to give donations! In this document, you tell your mission, and your vision of the future, a vision so engaging, and necessary they won’t have a choice but to donate to your cause!
It’s a living document which explains what it is that you do, but most importantly why you do what you do!
The case of support is a document which can be shared with your staff, Board and station ambassadors, but most importantly with your potential donors! The document outlines the reasons why your work is so important, and why the work needs to be done now, like, right now.
Telling a story!
People in campus and community radio are great at telling stories. It’s important that your case of support has a strong narrative arch.
What is the key issue? What’s the premise which requires that your station exist?
Another way to look at it is what is the end goal? For example is it, a robust voice for students or space for local musicians to be heard! What is the end goal for your station, what are you trying to achieve, and how does this relate to the key problem that you’ve started out with.
It is important that you have a focus on your goal, and you then take your readers on a journey from, this is what happens if we don’t exist, this is our end goal, and with your support, we can reach that endpoint! Let your donors be a key part of successfully solving a problem or reaching a goal!
The key outcome of this is that once they have read your case of support, and taken that narrative journey they can clearly say why it ‘matters’ that they donate to you, and what the legacy or impact of that donation would be.
You can support the narrative arch of your case of support with great examples, for example, you’re working to tackle social isolation, why not include a quote from a program which directly addresses a population that’s usually underserved? Use the expertise of your programmers!
As we’ve seen from CFUV-FM’s latest fundraising campaign, people donate to people! Talk about what you do in a way which is relatable, and connects to the key message of why it’s important that you do what you do! Reach out to your community, your programmers, your donors ask them to tell them what your station means to them, capture those incredible lived experiences where your station was incredibly important to them!
We can all imagine the travesty of what would happen if we didn’t exist, imagine the communities isolated, the voices that would never be heard. But that’s what you are there to combat! It’s important to finish a Case of Support with some optimism, for example, here is the situation, here is how you can help and why it’s vital, and here is how we are already partly achieving this goal!
So now you’ve written up your Case of Support, and you’ve shared it with your team.
It matches your strategic plan and is ready to go! Not yet!
We suggest reaching out to your biggest donors, and seeing what they think (after lots of editing!) What about your Board? Now that they are all singing from the same hymn sheet, what have they noticed that might be missing? You might find that you provide a service, or are important to someone for a reason that never occurred to you!
We explored over 20 station websites and we only found 1 had any explanation of why we should donate. We want to do a shout out to CJSR-FM for their great webpage on their donation section, the interactive pie chart which shows income and expenses is great at demonstrating accountability! Very cool! We also saw from CiTR FM some details about why people should donate, but it was very linked to their fun(d) drives.
We know that members have a lot of volunteer turnover, and maintaining information can be an ongoing challenge, here at the NCRA/ANREC keeping up with the ever changing staff makeup stations is a full-time job! But, one thing that can’t be left outdated is your case of support, make sure that it connects your potential donors to the RIGHT PERSON and has the direct contact information, there could be big money in it!
We wanted to share some blog pieces written by Mena at Purposeful Fundraising, Mena has worked with both the NCRA/ANREC and the Community Radio Fund as well as many other charities across Canada. Here is some recommended reading!
1) Ten Mistakes organizations make with their Case for Support: Part 2
2) Ten Mistakes organizations make with their Case for Support: Part 1
3) The Case for Support as a Fundraising Tool
Also! On a related note, if you don’t already have a system to accept monthly or online donations the NCRA/ANREC has a service we offer through our Shopify store to help with this! Reach out to email@example.com for more information!