Building a strong case for support
07 September 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many funders have quickly adapted their funding models.
This has enabled them to support charities and community groups who are facing more demands for their help, as well as supporting charities who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19.
Regardless of which funder or donor you approach, you will still need to have a clear and compelling case for support. As a foundation for all your fundraising, your case for support is key to achieving successful applications. This guidance will take you through the essential points your case for support should cover and highlights specific things to consider when applying for COVID-19 emergency or recovery funding.
Why your charity must have a strong case for support
Even though some funders providing emergency COVID-19 funding have eased their application requirements, competition for these funds will continue to be intense. To give your application the best chance of success, it will need to be persuasive and show how a funder’s financial support will make a difference.
As your case for support forms the backbone of your approaches to all major donors, funding bodies, and the local community, it is worth investing time and resources to get it right. It can be a case for support about your charity as a whole, or for a particular project or programme you are fundraising for. Draw on the voices of key people in your organisation to build your case and regularly review it to ensure it’s up to date.
A case for support is usually between four and six pages long. However, for COVID-19 related funding applications you could make it shorter as new COVID-19 related funding application requirements need a lighter touch than standard application requirements. Either way you should include any key facts, financials and summary plans that you have. To bring your case to life, it helps if you include pictures, personal testimonials and quotes.
Key questions you need to ask yourself
Make sure your case for support addresses the three key considerations below:
- What is the need?
- What is the solution?
- What will the outcome be?
These three important considerations have been developed into more detailed questions to form the structure below. When answering each question, keep these three key considerations in mind.
Structuring your case for support
The following questions will help you think about how to express your case for support or reflect on your current case. Some of the possible responses provided may not be applicable to your charity or project but will give ideas to work from.
Although funders’ questions will vary, they are typically based on the following areas:
Bringing together your case for support
Considering the questions above will help you to develop or review your case for support.
The key questions and principles in this guidance can apply to all charities—however, you will need to tailor your case of support and approach you take depending on the size, age and complexity of your organisation.
Your case of support can be used as a starting point for applications to donors and funders. Remember to adapt and tweak your case to fit with each funder’s interests and requirements, as each funder has different areas of interest.
It is also important to regularly review and update your case as your fundraising progresses. This will help you to present a more successful case for support to potential funders.