Writing a compelling case for funding support and investment can feel like an overwhelming exercise. This is made even harder for community organisations that have competing priorities, limited resources and time constraints. It’s one of the key reasons I developed Funding HQ. Working with local community organisations and not-for-profits over the years, it became clear that many organisations didn’t know where to go for funding or how to ask. This has become more of a problem in the last few months as some funding streams have dried up and funders are requiring more detail and better relationships with organisations.
However when you get your case for funding right it will provide a key stepping stone in building your relationship with a donor, helping them to capture the spirit of your campaign or project, and demonstrating how their contribution will help grow a vibrant community.
Start with ‘Why’
As you begin to write your case for investment, keep your goals and impact front of mind. Think about what investment will mean for your organisation and especially for the lives of those in your community. Explain why it is important to solve the problem now. A sense of urgency is vital, but you must also allow the community an opportunity to get involved and help shape the project. Show that you’re working ‘with’ your community, not ‘on’ them.
Developing a case for investment will help you identify a wider spectrum of funders who may be interested in supporting your organisation. The charging environment means you might have to look at a number of different or alternative funding opportunities. You may not immediately see a need for your organisation to have all of the streams of funding, but building an understanding of how they all work together is valuable.
When you are considering funding sources, look for alignment between your goals and that of the funding organisation. Funding HQ can really help you demonstrate how your organisation aligns with a funder’s priorities and requirements.
Building your case
One of the key watch-outs when building your case is to check that you meet the funder’s criteria. Understanding what a funder wants to hear is more important than everything you might want to say.
Make sure you are:
Don’t forget to show that your organisation is well-managed, well-governed and has the ability to achieve the desired outcomes.
Be sure to identify what other community support you have. Even the smallest of contributions can have a strategic influence and signal to larger funders that your project has community support.
When you’re demonstrating the outcome make sure you highlight what it will mean for the funder and how their contribution will impact the community. If you have any impact stories, share these with your funders as a clear demonstration of what you can achieve.
If you need help building your compelling case, Funding HQ has many more ideas and gives you frameworks to help you succeed. Find out if it’s a fit for your organisation here.