Write a Capital Campaign Case Statement [Free Examples]
Developing a persuasive, sincere case statement is one of the cornerstone elements of preparing for your institution’s upcoming capital campaign. Without a compelling case statement in line, supporters may find it difficult to understand why your cause is worthy of their support.
Most institutions are already very familiar with case statements as some of the hallmark elements of any capital campaign.
However, before you begin planning for your next campaign, it’s worth setting aside time to reevaluate how your institution develops these statements, as well as how your team makes use of them as tools during the various stages of your capital campaign.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the finer points of developing a dynamic capital campaign case statement, including:
- 1. How developing a case statement fits into the capital campaign planning period
- 2. Who needs to be involved in developing your capital campaign case statement
- 3. Ways your team can utilize your case statement during your capital campaign
- 4. Examples of capital campaign case statements
Whether your organization is writing a case statement for your first-ever capital campaign, or if you’re looking to get more from the case statement you’ve repurposed year-in and year-out, let’s discuss the many ways your team can make the most out of this familiar document.
1. How developing a case statement fits into the capital campaign planning period
Your capital campaign’s case statement isn’t simply a marketing tool or a reference document for prospective donors, and its development shouldn’t be left as an afterthought during your capital campaign’s planning period.
In fact, writing your case statement should be considered a central part of planning your capital campaign. Why?
Your case statement should provide prospects with a compelling argument to contribute a major gift to the campaign. If the statement isn’t able to justify your fundraising goal, the timeline of your capital campaign, or even your organization’s overall mission, that’s a sign that you need to reevaluate.
To be clear, the process of writing your case statement isn’t there to uncover foundational issues that may prevent your campaign from becoming a success (that’s for your feasibility study).
However, if your organization faces roadblocks creating a compelling case for support, this development process can serve as a warning sign for trouble down the road.
So, what should your team be looking out for when developing your case statement? A solid case statement should always include:
- An evocative opening statement. Grab the attention of your audience with a succinct, immediate call to action. State your need for fundraising support and appeal to your audience to give to your campaign.
- A brief overview of your organization. Remind your audience of the basics of your organization: your history, your place in the community, the general cause that you support, etc.
- A clear statement of fundraising needs. Be direct with your prospects. Clearly state how much money you’ll need to raise, the timeline of your campaign, and how the funding will be implemented by your team.
- An acknowledgement of recent achievements. Donors prefer to give to organizations with proven track records. Be sure to outline your recent successes and connect them back to your capital campaign’s mission.
- A forward-thinking mission statement. Include your organization’s mission statement to remind your audience of your overall philanthropic goals. Don’t forget to emphasize how your capital campaign supports this mission.
Your capital campaign is not ready to move out of the planning period if your case statement isn’t in line.
If your case statement is missing any of these central elements, your team could be headed for trouble. Under the guidance of your fundraising consultant, take the requisite time to rework your case statement so that it incorporates all of the core elements listed above. Only then will your case statement be equipped to appeal to prospects!
2. Who needs to be involved in developing your capital campaign case statement
Your capital campaign’s case statement shouldn’t be solely written by one arm of your organization.
When a case statement is left to be completed by only your marketing or communications teams with little input from other arms of your organization, it may fail to reflect the priorities and vision of your institution on the whole.
Since your capital campaign is a long-term community effort that all members of your organization will be involved with for at least a few years, it’s crucial that key players from across your organization are involved in its development from start to finish.
In this respect, the process of writing your case for support offers an excellent opportunity to rally your community to contribute to its development.
People like to be involved, and by including your entire community of support in the development process, you strengthen their ties to the campaign.
The more invested people are, the better advocates they’ll be for your institution on the fundraising front lines.
Keep in mind some of these important members of your community who should be directly involved in developing your capital campaign’s case statement:
- Campaign leadership. Campaign leaders from the top down should be in the room when your case statement is under development. These include your president, executive director, development director, and your fundraising consultant.
- Marketing staff. Your marketing team has keen insight when it comes to the voice of your organization, and they’ll be able to offer unique perspective into what communication strategies work (and which don’t) when compelling donors to give.
- Key stakeholders. Volunteers, donors, board members, and other individuals who make up your community of supporters should be able to voice input as the case for support is being developed.
Not only is developing your case statement an important part of setting the stage for your capital campaign, but the development process offers a great opportunity to allow your community of support to start feeling like they have a dog in the race.
If the development process is dominated by a singular committee with little outside input, you run the risk of alienating important members of your community. By looping them in from the get-go, these individuals will be more likely to feel like the campaign is “theirs.”
With this sense of ownership, you can trust that they will be more invested advocates for the capital campaign down the line.
3. Ways your team can utilize your case statement during your capital campaign
Your case statement isn’t simply a static document. At least, your organization shouldn’t treat it as such. Throughout your capital campaign, your case statement can be reused and repurposed in marketing materials, speeches, solicitations, and more.
As it is under development, keep in mind some of the following ways your case statement can be put to use over the course of the campaign.
This is likely what you think of when you think of a capital campaign case statement. Solicitation collateral might include a print brochure, PDF document, slideshow presentation, or other types of documentation that your team can use when soliciting prospects.
While creating this content should form the core of the case statement development process, don’t spend too much time or money on creating solicitation resources.
The fact of the matter is that quite often, these end up as materials you leave behind after soliciting prospects. They don’t necessarily revisit them, and for many prospects, they’ll start collecting dust as soon as your representatives are out the door.
Many institutions get caught up in the design process and end up with case statements that are all flash and no substance. What’s more important is that the foundations of your case statement are in line and that you have content to turn to when making the case to supporters.
Under the direction of your fundraising consultant, be sure that you develop a case statement that gets to the heart of why donors should support your campaign and how they can get involved. Don’t lose sight (and money) over aesthetics!
Capital campaigns are long affairs. Typically spanning 3-5 years, your organization’s capital campaign may outlast many of your personnel and may be ongoing when you bring in new members of your team.
That being said, in addition to serving as a point of entry for your prospects, your case statement can also provide a useful resource for members of your team both new and old as the capital campaign progresses.
As your team members reach out to prospects, promote the campaign, and otherwise chip away at your fundraising goal, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and fall off track.
For this reason, the case statement should be presented to your staff, volunteers, board members, and other insiders as an internal guidebook. If they need a refresher on the scope of the campaign, the project it is funding, or other important information, they can consult it.
Your team won’t always have ample time to make your case to prospects, and many important potential supporters won’t be available for a well rehearsed, extensive appeal. For this reason, there needs to be a concentrated, elevator pitch version of the case statement on hand.
All of your key representatives should have a well-rehearsed case statement in their back pocket to present to prospects. The presentation should hit all of the key points of your longform statement, but should remain brief for spur-of-the-moment solicitations.
Consider the following statement as an example of how your elevator pitch might play out:
“Newtown Animal Shelter is in desperate need of structural repairs. After recent tornadoes, our roof needs to be replaced, the entire east wing of our building needs to be rebuilt, and our parking lot requires repaving.
To get back on our feet and return to taking in animals at our previous capacity, we are looking to raise $8,500,000 over the next five years. Will your foundation help out our hospital by contributing a generous gift of $200,000?”
Your elevator pitch should get right to the basics. If you’re not able to hit the finer points of your broader case statement, that’s fine! It’s simply important to highlight your needs and give the audience an appealing reason to give to your capital campaign.
4. Examples of capital campaign case statements
Looking for additional guidance when crafting your capital campaign case statement? Consider some of the following condensed examples of case statements to serve as a jumping off point for your team.
Private School’s Capital Campaign Case Statement
At Cresthill Preparatory Academy, our student body depends upon support from community members like you to achieve the level of academic success for which we are known. Will you support us by playing a part in the next phase in our school’s history?
For over 150 years, CPA has been a cornerstone of the Greenfield community. Each spring, nearly 500 young men and women graduate from our institution and enter into professional and academic careers of great distinction.
Within the next decade, CPA is committed to expanding our student body by 250%. In doing so, we will be able to keep pace with the rapidly growing Greenfield metropolitan area, as well as offer an unmatched education to even more deserving scholars.
CPA has historically been, and will always be, a tuition-free school for high achieving students of all economic backgrounds. However, to live true to our mission, it has become apparent that the time has come for us to move the location of our campus.
In moving, we will be able to build larger, more modern educational facilities that can support the continued growth of our student population while not compromising our commitment to small class sizes and individualized educational plans.
Following the significant success of our most recent capital campaign three years ago, we were able to combat damage caused by flooding and rebuild our library after a hurricane.
However, it has become clear that our current location suffers from irreparable structural damage and, to remain sustainable, would require intense renovations to bring the building up to modern standards.
Due to these circumstances, it has been determined that it is in the best interest of our community to completely rebuild the structure on a larger lot of land to accommodate future additions to the building as well as give us the room we need to support anticipated student growth in the coming years.
To move campus locations and rebuild our school from the foundation up, we at CPA intend to raise $15,000,000 over the next three years. With your support, our school can grow into the next phase of our history and meet the needs of our changing Greenfield community.
Women’s Advocacy Organization’s Capital Campaign Case Statement
Alison’s Wish Advocacy Group has been serving women in the Jacksonville, Carter, and Bolingbroke communities for over twenty-five years.
Dedicated to promoting women’s physical and spiritual well-being, AWAG has successfully provided housing to over 5,000 women and children escaping intimate partner violence over nearly three decades.
In partnership with local law enforcement, we reach out to victims and assist them by funding all or part of the cost of moving to a secure new home. Additionally, we offer life skills classes to help equip women to excel in the workforce and support their families.
Over the next six years, AWAG will be establishing offices in Gray, Baldwin, and Alfred counties. To do so, we need to raise $5,000,000 within the next four years in order to break ground on these new locations.
In opening these three new locations, we will be able to help approximately 200 additional families each year. Further, by widening the community we serve, we will decrease the number of families who are unable to receive our support due to distance.
With your contribution to our capital campaign, AWAG will be empowered to lend a hand up (not a handout), to hundreds of more women over the next decade.
Building a strong case for support should form the core of your capital campaign’s planning process. With these tips and examples in mind, your team is ready to get started on this important step toward reaching your capital campaign’s fundraising goals!
- Building a Case for Support: What You Need to Know. Looking for more insight into the case building process? Strengthen your capital campaign by reviewing our outline of some case statement best practices.
- Six Underappreciated Opportunities to Connect with Your Donors. Succeeding in your capital campaign is all about connecting with the right prospects. Improve your chances with our six tips for making better donor connections.
- The Fundraising Strategy Ultimate Assessment. Is your capital campaign’s fundraising strategy in line? Take Double the Donation’s fundraising strategy assessment to figure out where your organization needs to make strategic improvements.