Your Third Month

Funding Opportunities — Extension Development


Resource Development Plan

1. State your case

To be successful in fund raising, your case for support (case statement) must be well articulated and easy to understand. Everyone needs to have a case statement that is conveyed enthusiastically and is persuasive to potential donors. The case states the need, explains why you need support, and builds the argument for support. The case statement does not have to be lengthy. It can be one page with pictures or it can be a brochure. Whatever your case for support is it should include the following. The case should be no more than two to three pages and should:

  • Get the donor’s attention up front
  • Develop interest to continue reading
  • Build confidence in your organization
  • Build desire in the donor to take action

The elements of a case statement are: be brief, demonstrate success, be constituency focused, describe how a gift will solve a specific problem, convey excitement, describe benefits to the donor, and be compelling.

The format of a case statement is as follows:

  • Mission statement
  • Organizational background
  • Need
  • Benefits
  • Program goal(s)
  • Specific objectives
  • How you can help (the ask should include a dollar amount)

The mission statement should be one or two sentences that explain why your organization exists. The background provides the reason why your organization should be entrusted to solve the problems identified. The need must address how the service/program fits the problem. The goal is the amount needed to carry out the program…the what. The objectives are specific statements of what the organization is going to do to see that the goals are achieved…the how. When presenting how you can help it is helpful to make it clear to the donor what it is you want them to do and why it is urgent.

2. Why you need support

Fund raising is based upon the needs of the people. An organization has no needs. A community may have needs. Society may have problems. People have needs and problems. However, an organization has solutions, answers and capabilities to address the needs and assist in solving the problems.

A plan must be developed that addresses what is included, where to begin, who should be involved, what the goal is and how will it be established, and a timetable for implementation. In addition, a clear articulation of why the money is needed should be developed. This includes answering the following questions.

  • Does this need really exist?
  • How do you know the need exists?
  • Who will be accountable?

When we are raising funds, it is important to remember that the need is not money. Money is needed to carry out the programs that provide opportunities for participants to meet their needs. A needs assessment is critical to your ability to create a motivating and interesting case statement. The purpose of the needs assessment is to provide you with the facts to take action and will enhance your “fundability.”

3. Goals, objectives and outcomes

While the goal is the what, the objectives tell what will be accomplished and how much will be accomplished. Objectives state the measurable end for which you will be held accountable. When writing your objectives, remember the following:

  • Determine result areas. These are key places you will look to see improvements or changes.
  • Determine measurement indicators. These are quantifiable parts of your result area.
  • Determine performance standards. These answer the question, how much of the measurement indicators do we need to consider it a success?
  • Determine the time frame. This is the amount of time you want to reach your performance standards.
  • Write the objective. “To (action verb and statement reflecting your measurement indicator) by (performance standard) by (deadline)”
  • Evaluate the objective. Answer the question, “Does this objective reflect the amount of change we want in the result area?”

4. Budget

A budget is a plan for the coordination of resources and expenses. It is a statement of the financial position of an organization based on estimates of expenditures and proposals for financing them. It is a primary instrument for fiscal control that demonstrates the organizations fiscal responsibility and reflects the efficiency by which it uses its available resources to accomplish goals and objectives.

A budget should include the following:

  • Expenses of the program including maintenance and wish list or needs
  • Current generated income
  • Gap: what needs to be raised
  • Cost to raise money
  • Total of what needs to be raised and the cost to raise money is your fund raising plan budget