Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Bianca BNE  Author: Bianca Williams

Does your organisation have a compelling and powerful document that motivates prospective donors to support your programs?

A Case for Support is a compelling document targeted to your philanthropic donors – both current and prospective. It sets the scene of why your organisation exists, the need it is meeting, how it is meeting the need, the organisation’s accomplishments and why it needs support to do more. It makes a statement that clearly outlines what prospective donors might accomplish by choosing to donate to your organisation.

It should drive your prospective donors to want to be involved in achieving your vision; and existing donors to want to be more involved.

What information should be included in a Case for Support document?

Typically, a Case for Support will be no more than 10 pages – the purpose of the document is not to provide extensive detail but rather the key facts and a snazzy visual presentation of the project for which you need to secure funding.

Key items of information to include are:

* Background information about the organisation

* Your organisation’s key achievements and track record

* Explanation of the need your organisation is addressing / service gap it is fillingCaseforSupportBlog Image1

* The solution – how your organisation will address the need

* Funding required – clear budget detailing the financial need

* Quotes from project stakeholders and case studies

* Benefits to the community

* Call to Action

What is the look and feel of a Case for Support document?

The order of information is very important when planning the layout of a Case for Support document – essentially you have a limited number of pages to impart sufficient information to motivate your prospective donor to make a significant donation.

How do you engage the reader, and keep them engaged? 

Take them on a journey of the project; from the beginning to end. That is, what will be the outcome of their support for the beneficiaries or cause.  

The Cover Page should include the Project Title, your logo, a powerful statement to engage the audience, an invitation to be involved, and images that represent the project. 

Each page after that needs to be strategically laid out to ensure key information is included, in a logical flow, and matched with relevant imagery and powerful quotes and case studies.

How and when to use the Case for Support document

The document should be used to complement a discussion had with a prospective donor. It contains detailed information they can refer back to, and allows them to visualize how their support will help create the impact.

Still have questions around how to prepare a Case for Support document for your organisation?

Jump on line, register and listen to our pre-recorded ‘Case for Support’ webinar – the hour-long webinar provides in-depth detail of the steps above.


CraigMELB Author: Craig Hunter

The team at Strategic Grants advocate for our nonprofit partners to invest time in nurturing relationships with their funders, none more so than those who have committed funds to their organisation. If your organisation does not proactively thank your funders, it should.

Here are five easy ways to thank a funder.

1. Pick up the phone.

Strategic Grants works with a lot of trusts and foundations and we often receive feedback that beneficiaries don’t pick up the phone to express their thanks when they receive funding. Everyone is busy, but you should never be too busy to call someone who has just given you money. They read your application, they chose your project, and care about the issues you are tackling and share your vision. Don’t be too busy celebrating your win to pick up the phone to say thank you.

What many grant seekers don’t realise is, your first grant success with any funder is a trial.

Will you deliver what you proposed in the application? Will their money be spent wisely? How well do you communicate results?

A phone call will help you start a dialogue with your funder and cement a relationship that could secure future funding.

2. Write a letter.

A good old-fashioned letter is rare these days - taking the time to hand write a note of thanks is a personal way of acknowledging a funders support.

There are different levels of funding, so there may be different levels of funder management. For example, a $5,000 funder may receive a phone call and a letter of thanks from the grant writer or administrator. A $20,000 funder may receive the same from the project lead, and a $50,000+ funder may be acknowledged by the CEO.

Get your Board involved and develop high-level relationships with your funders wherever possible. While there is no hard and fast rule it is important to identify who the right person in your organisation is, to be the key steward of each relationship.CraigBlog FiveWaysThankyouImage2

3. Invite the funder to an event

The work you do has an impact. By inviting your funding partners to be a part of your work they will feel more connected with what you do and how you spend their money. Many corporate foundations encourage their staff to volunteer with the nonprofits they support. By engaging with this group through an event you tap into a large volunteer workforce with expertise your organisation could benefit from.

4. Use your website, social media and any digital communication.

Share your success online; mention, tag and tweet the funders name and your project details. Many funders are active on social media and will share your tweet or story with their connections. Your circle of influence will grow, and other funders will learn about what you do.

Acknowledge their support on your website and in your communications with clients and staff – it’s important the staff in your organisation, in particular the program staff, understand how the program was funded, and by which funder. It’s also important to celebrate your funding success within the organisation to build rapport between the fundraising/grants team, and the service delivery team.

5. Write an end of year wrap up to communicate your achievements.

Funders are people too. Trusts and foundations, PAFs and government agencies are managed by trustees or key stakeholders who choose to fund programs that align with their mission, and achieve the change they want to see in community. An end of year wrap is an easy way to thank your funders, and showcase what your organisation has achieved due to the financial support received over the year.

Case studies are a great way to tell of the benefits, using emotive language. Back this with evidence of your work, the people, places or issues you are dealing with, the change that is occurring and the funders who have helped you do it. None of us work in isolation, and a two-page snapshot of what you have achieved together may lead to collaboration between your current and prospective funders in the future.

If your organisation does not have a process in place to acknowledge and thank your funders – listen to the SG ‘Nurturing Relationships’ podcast to get started.

It’s as easy as 1, 2,3…..4 and 5!