Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Bianca BNE  Author: Bianca Williams

Does your organisation have a compelling and powerful document that motivates prospective donors to support your programs?

A Case for Support is a compelling document targeted to your philanthropic donors – both current and prospective. It sets the scene of why your organisation exists, the need it is meeting, how it is meeting the need, the organisation’s accomplishments and why it needs support to do more. It makes a statement that clearly outlines what prospective donors might accomplish by choosing to donate to your organisation.

It should drive your prospective donors to want to be involved in achieving your vision; and existing donors to want to be more involved.

What information should be included in a Case for Support document?

Typically, a Case for Support will be no more than 10 pages – the purpose of the document is not to provide extensive detail but rather the key facts and a snazzy visual presentation of the project for which you need to secure funding.

Key items of information to include are:

* Background information about the organisation

* Your organisation’s key achievements and track recordCaseforSupportBlog Image1

* Explanation of the need your organisation is addressing / service gap it is filling

* The solution – how your organisation will address the need

* Funding required – clear budget detailing the financial need

* Quotes from project stakeholders and case studies

* Benefits to the community

* Call to Action

What is the look and feel of a Case for Support document?

The order of information is very important when planning the layout of a Case for Support document – essentially you have a limited number of pages to impart sufficient information to motivate your prospective donor to make a significant donation.

How do you engage the reader, and keep them engaged? 

Take them on a journey of the project; from the beginning to end. That is, what will be the outcome of their support for the beneficiaries or cause.  

The Cover Page should include the Project Title, your logo, a powerful statement to engage the audience, an invitation to be involved, and images that represent the project. 

Each page after that needs to be strategically laid out to ensure key information is included, in a logical flow, and matched with relevant imagery and powerful quotes and case studies.

How and when to use the Case for Support document

The document should be used to complement a discussion had with a prospective donor. It contains detailed information they can refer back to, and allows them to visualize how their support will help create the impact.

Still have questions around how to prepare a Case for Support document for your organisation?

Jump on line, register and listen to our pre-recorded ‘Case for Support’ webinar – the hour-long webinar provides in-depth detail of the steps above.



ClintNZ Author: Clint Dunstan

Strategic Grants has identified a significant need in New Zealand for community organisations to have access to current, relevant and tailored grants information. To address this need, we are working with NZ councils to build capacity and help local community groups secure grant funding.

Identifying the problem

As a previous team member of the fundraising team at Palmerston North City Council, I relied on GEMS (Strategic Grants’ Grants Expertise Management Systems) to provide current grant funding opportunities for Council projects – the result being, lots of grants success! I soon realised that local community groups in the region may not have access to this online resource and therefore, were missing out on funding opportunities, the way we previously were, before GEMS. So, I discussed the problem with Jo (Director of Strategic Grants) to see how we could make this resource available to local community groups.

Finding a solution

Jo and I developed a service package to present to Palmerston North City Council to provide local community groups in the region access to GEM Local, that provides a suite of tools including a customised Grants Calendar, Grant Writing examples, check lists and educational webinars. The Palmerston North City Council loved the concept as they were keen to see local community groups build skills and capacity to be more effective in their grant-seeking practice.


Palmerston North City Council now has over 150 community groups using the GEM local platform, utilising the grant-seeking tools and training, to build sustainable and effective grants programs.

Partnerships with other NZ Councils

Jo and I attended the LGNZ Conference in Wellington last month – this is a national conference for senior council staff and elected members from councils around NZ. We had a Strategic Grants stand to showcase the GEMS Local Council Partnership service package, and I tell you – the stand was busy!

A number of conversations were held with council members from around the country, interested in learning more about how they could help their local community groups build capacity and secure grant funding to deliver their programs.ClintBlog HelpingNZcommunitygroupsImage

More NZ Councils have come on board since – so if you are a community group in NZ and need help in securing grant funding, contact your local council to ask about the Strategic Grants GEM Local Council Partnership.

For Councils who want to learn more, contact one of the team for information.