The Little Black Dress of Your Fundraising Wardrobe: Your Case for Support

Image of a Little Black Dress

By Impact Team

January 29, 2020

The best messaging is like the little black dress.

Elegant all by itself, it’s appropriate for any occasion. Throw on some heels and a necklace and you’re ready for a party. Slip on some sandals and you’re approachable at the grocery store.

Just like the little black dress, your case for support is a key staple in your fundraising wardrobe. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your case is just a pretty leave-behind for major donor prospects. It should be a critical tool to ensure quality, consistent messaging for everyone on your fundraising team.

Consistency is powerful.

A few fun (horrifying?) facts: Nearly 105 BILLION emails are sent each day. The U.S. Postal Service processes and delivers 484.8 MILLION mail pieces daily. And each day, most Americans are exposed to 4,000 – 10,000 advertisements.

Are you tired yet?

It can make your head hurt—and it makes it challenging to get your nonprofit’s fundraising messages to break through.

With so much noise out there, your organization’s story needs to be consistent. Your message might not resonate the first, second, or even third time. But having a consistent message makes it more likely that, over time, your donors will gradually hear you—and give.

Consistency is one of the key reasons for developing a case for support for your organization. If everyone in your organization is using your case for support as a foundation for donor conversations, whether it’s with a major donor or in a huge email blast, you’ll have better odds of getting a donor’s attention.

So, don’t leave your case for support hanging in the closet—accessorize it for various channels and constituencies, from grant proposals to social media campaigns!

This article is adapted from a 2019 Bridge Conference session presented by Impact’s Kathy Swayze, Gregg Kelly of the Washington Lawyers Committee and Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE, of Windmill Hill Consulting.

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