Constructing a Case Statement

Adapted from Leading the Way to Successful Volunteer Involvement, by Betty Stallings.

When crafting your case statement, be specific about your vision, your strengths and your needs to help you accomplish your vision.

There are two essential rules when constructing a case statement to make financial support of volunteer involvement credible.

1. DON’T approach funders with a budget to support the infrastructure of running a volunteer program.

  • Infrastructure supports your organization, not your clients. Focusing on the internal needs is the biggest mistake in fundraising!
  • Speaking of a “volunteer program” isolates community participation into a special project, possibly viewed in competition with more client-centered “programs.” Remember, you would not refer to an “employee program,’ would you?

An Ineffective Ask:

We need money to fund the position of a volunteer coordinator so that the program runs more smoothly and efficiently and our volunteers have a more organized and successful experience.

Probable Funder Response:

How are you different than any other organization that would like a volunteer coordinator? What difference would it make in carrying out your mission?

2. DO request funding that will empower volunteers to expand the reach of your mission.

  • Whatever your mission—ending hunger, improving the environment, enabling seniors to live independently—it is that goal which funders will want to be identified and which they will likely support.

An Effective Ask:

Divorce, alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression are frequently associated with those who must care for seriously ill children. We are looking for funds to extend our support to approximately 1,300 families in our region who care for a child with a serious illness. Expanding the number of community volunteers (more targeted recruitment) and strengthening their skills (formal Training) to provide respite services will allow us to increase and enhance our overall service to these families.

Probable Funder Response:

We share your interest in extending assistance to additional families with a seriously ill child and will consider your request of maximizing the support through service provided by an increased number of effectively trained volunteers.