She was shivering on the streetcorner - barely a whisper of a girl with long, straight, mousy brown hair that hadn’t seen a brush in several days.  

While a statement like this one can grab attention, and while stories are an integral part of fundraising communications, we need to provide more than just a good story when we ask for major gifts. The vehicle for communicating this information is frequently referred to as a case statement, which is made up of four primary components:

  • The need: why does the community need what you are providing?
  • The program: what are you doing to meet that need?
  • Why you / your organization: Why is your organization the best one suited to provide this service?
  • Cost: How much money will it take to provide this service / run your organization?

Does your case statement answer these questions? Could it use some help? Join me online this Friday at the Case Statement Virtual Workshop and I’ll walk with you through the process of outlining your case statement – and keeping it compelling.

Quote of the week:
Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. - Barack Obama

Hope to ‘see’ you Friday!

Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please share this with others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!

Awareness / Communications

What Others Are Doing

Fundraising Planning

Fundraising Tactics

  • Getting More From Your Smaller Donors It’s a new year – 2014 is here and the battle to raise sustainable support for your organization begins anew. Some development departments and professionals are planning annual fundraising events, researching grant opportunities, and performing other tasks to help them reach their budgetary goals. By Richard Freedlund
  • I emailed my legislator, but do they care?  Many nonprofits participate in advocacy, but the advocacy landscape is always changing. What can nonprofits do to continue effectively advocating for their causes and constituents? Jo Miles of Food & Water Watch shares some tips for making advocacy efforts gain more traction. from NTEN
  • Do shock tactics work in fundraising? I hear a lot of anxiety about fundraising "shock tactics." Are they effective? Are they ethical? Could they work for some donors, but turn away many more? By Jeff Brooks
  • For More Effective Fundraising Appeals, Avoid The ‘Royal We’ Do you see a lot of fundraising appeals that feature the “royal we” in your mailbox? “XYZ has been successfully helping [poor, hungry, sick] people for more than 30 years. During that time, we have [blah, blah, blah]." Looks familiar, doesn’t it? By Mary Cahalane

Online / Technology

  • How Google’s Hummingbird Update Affects Nonprofits Google welcomed another animal to digital stardom last fall when it released Hummingbird, its latest algorithm. News of the update induced panic across the business world as many recalled the effects of previous updates, namely Panda and Penguin, which redefined the rules of online marketing. By Andrew Garberson
  • 6 Big Mistakes Nonprofit Organizations Make on Instagram Instagram gives nonprofit organizations a great way to connect with the communities they serve as well as to gain new supporters. However, you want to avoid these six mistakes when utilizing the photo social-networking service.
  • Are Nonprofits Reshuffling Their Social Media? There may be a big rethinking by nonprofits this year about which social media networks to use. Facebook has become discouraging for many organizations due to continual changes and the decrease in "organic reach." Julia Campbell wrote about this in her post, 3 Things To Do Instead of Facebook Marketing in 2014. By Joanne Fritz
  • 7 Practical Tips for Engagement with a Higher Purpose On Social In this post, I’m sharing my slides, resources, and practical engagement tips with a higher purpose.  That purpose, of course, is to build a life-long relationship with alumni of your nonprofit’s program or school so that they are a donor and champion for your organization. by Beth Kanter

Leadership / News / Other

  • Sharing Healthcare Innovation in Asia The term “health systems” paints an abstract picture. We are conditioned to think about healthcare in silos—such as healthcare providers, payors, or patients—and about health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of policies and interventions only intermittently. By Zeena Johar
  • G’day! A Nonprofit Tale of Two Nations Does your nonprofit organization want to be known and respected?  Why, and by whom? The answer may vary by country–and how you answer determines how you should communicate with your supporters. By Dennis Fischman
  • Nonprofits brace for financial squeeze from municipalities The financial squeeze being felt by nonprofits on the eastern seaboard is being closely monitored by nonprofit executives in Michigan. If a tax reform movement taking hold on the East Coast eventually moves to Michigan, it could put the state’s nonprofits in a precarious position, said Donna Murray-Brown, president and CEO… from
  • Applying for Tax Exemption: No More Expedited Processing?   With the publication of Revenue Procedure 2014-4 on January 2, 2014, the IRS announced that determination letter requests (which includes requests included with Forms 1023 or 1024) are not eligible for expedited handling. By Gene Takagi

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