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“This guide is great. I am using it as a catalyst to create a branding campaign with my Marketing Committee. Of course, this will be used for fundraising and grant writing as well. We really needed the framework to build value for our donors, volunteers, and clients. Thanks!”
– Step-by-Step Guide User

Creating a Case for Investment

Now more than ever nonprofits are struggling for funding amid growing competition and diminishing available dollars. A weak economy coupled with a proliferation in recent years of startup nonprofits, has made it harder and harder to stand out and recruit donors. At the same time, the growing fields of social entrepreneurship, performance measurement and impact investing have made donors more interested in understanding the social return their investment in a nonprofit will bring. These days, donors, especially major donors, are less likely to give to a nonprofit because the organization “does good work” and more likely to give because the organization has demonstrated how they create a solution to a social problem the donor cares about.

This new environment requires those nonprofits that want to continue to attract and grow philanthropic support create a compelling, thoughtful argument for why a donor should give to them. This argument is called a “Case for Investment.” Driven by a thoughtful combination of data and emotion, a good Case for Investment can help a nonprofit communicate and connect with their target donors much more effectively.

A nonprofit may never use a Case for Investment in its entirety, rather the Case for Investment serves as the fundamental building block from which all donor communications, marketing materials, grant proposals, website language, etc. is derived.

This guide is organized into the 9 sections of a Case for Investment. In each section of this guide there is a series of questions, which you will answer. Your answers to these questions become the basis for your final Case for Support, which should be no more than 2-3 pages long. Your nonprofit’s Case for Investment cannot be written in just a day, by 1 or 2 people. You will need to get feedback and insight from staff and board. You also will need to gather some data for certain sections to make your Case for Investment stronger. This work will take time, so it may be a few weeks or months before you have a final Case for Investment that is compelling, convincing and agreed upon by the organization as a whole.

The sections of this guide are:

1. The Community Need
2. Our Solution
3. Why Us
4. Our Impact
5. Financial Model
6. Strategic Direction
7. Resources Required
8. Social Return on Investment
9. Next Steps


Product Info:
Upon purchase, you will be emailed a link to download the PDF guide for creating a Case for Investment.

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