If there is one lesson that…
In fact that’s not true. That’s why my popular training workshop is called “The Seven Secrets of Successful Fundraising.” I think there are actually about ten key points that have to be addressed for really successful fundraising and one of them (a very important one just like the rest of them) is to have a very clearly defined generic case for support for the whole organisation.
Out of the Generic Case for Support comes that almost magical generic fundraising statement that once heard, has donors scrambling into their pockets to donate to your organisation.
However, the the Generic Case for Support is a much wider and bigger document that sits next to the business plan. It spell out in no uncertain terms all the reasons why anyone should donate to your organisation or cause.
There are four aspects which I think are key to developing the Generic Case for Support, or at least these are the things it should convey.
(a) Beneficiaries (who benefits – (example: young people)
(b) Problem being tackled (example: poverty, isolation)
(c) Positive outcomes (example: Integration, wealth, education)
(d) Methodology (events, training, scholarships etc.)
(e) Geographical sphere of operation (where you operate OR where most beneficiaries can be found)
So in short, every possible reason why people should give you money.
In terms of the generic Fundraising Statement, it is a much shorter statement that should be on the tips of the tongues of every staff member, volunteer, trustee or supporter and on every webpage, letterhead and printed document.
Helping divorced men at risk of suicide through therapeutive cookery sessions in their own local pub
They don’t necessarily have to be as short or crass as that, but you want something that is memorable, has a strong impact and can be easily used on websites, stationery and all printed materials, and perhaps even as part of a logo.
The aim is to make sure that the person reading or hearing it is in no doubt that you are in need of donations, and that the money will be well spent helping others. So again, the key things to try and get into a statement are the benefits, the beneficiaries and perhaps how you work.
In terms of the length or size, I believe you need it in three. The first is like the above example, just a phrase. The second is 250 -1,000 words and is the type of thing that can usually be pasted whole or easily modifies when submitting a grant application for example. Then finally we have the heftier document that might be 10 pages or so and sits alongside the business plan. It is from this that the shorter two are spurned.
There are a few good examples and templates of cases for support available on the internet and of course we have produced a few of our own which we can sometimes make available on request.
One of the greatest benefits that stem from having a well thought out case for support is that it often produces what we call “unrestricted income” as opposed to restricted project funding.
This means organisations are free to use this money as they please, and this can only be a good thing.
I go into more detail about this in my book/ebook Seven Secrets of Successful Fundraising.