1 min Read
December 19, 2013

Why should they give? A quick how-to on crafting your nonprofit’s case for support

Imagine there’s a well-heeled donor standing in front your desk right now, checkbook in hand. Why should I support your organization? They ask.

You turn to them confidently and make a case for support that moves them to tears. They write a check. Better yet: your new donor stays connected. She reads your newsletter, shows up at events, and continues to make gifts over time. 

There are a lot of elements that have to come together to make a scenario like that actually happen, but one of them shouldn’t be that you don’t know how to make a case for support.

Despite its long title, Tom Ahern’s book “Seeing Through a Donor’s Eyes: How to Make a Persuasive Case for Everything from Your Annual Drive to Your Planned Giving Program to Your Capital Campaign” (Emerson & Church) is a fast, easy read and an excellent primer for anyone new to fundraising or trying to craft a compelling case.

In less than 200 pages, Ahern defines what a case is, how to use one, and how to craft one in five clear, simple steps. The book is chock full of examples and is so easy to read I bet you can get through it in one or two sittings. It blends some basic fundraising ‘best practices’ with good copywriting techniques like avoiding jargon, or speaking about benefits rather than features.

What other nonprofit communications or fundraising books are on your must-read list?