You know what I hate about grant applications? The first question is, “Tell us about your mission, why it is important, and the impact you’re having on the community. Oh, and do it in 750 characters.”

For real? I have at least ten pages worth on just our services! Plus, those 750 characters have to be killer, because the Review Board is going through a hundred-some applications, and you need to get noticed.

But those applications have also taught me how to be persuasive and effective, and how to fit a case statement in a tiny little submission box. Here are three good questions that will help you get to the meat of who you are and why donors should care:

1. If Your Agency Disappeared Today, What Would Happen?

This is a wonderful question to contemplate. If you really want to know the impact you’re making, think about what would happen if you weren’t here. Would the community notice? Who would be affected? Why does that matter?

2. Why Should a Donor Give TO YOU—TODAY?

Why should a donor give their money to you rather than another agency that may be doing the same thing? And why should they give right now? What’s the urgency? Why is it important that they get involved immediately?

3. What Exactly Do You Want Them to Do?

What do you want from the donor? What you say in your case should naturally lead up to how they can get involved. Make up your mind whether you’re asking for money, volunteers, community action, etc. Whatever you ask of a donor, you should do two things:

  1. Tell them the exact action you want them to take.
  2. Tell them the emotional satisfaction they’ll get. What’s in it for them?

Truth is, these questions work for more than just grants. They are great for all fundraising applications. These questions will concentrate your case for the donor and compel them into action. A persuasive case will leave the donor emotionally satisfied and excited—not guilted. Through that, you will raise more money, more awareness, and more donor loyalty.  Sounds more better to me!


Stumped? Put DBA on the case! We coach fundraisers to develop and present clear, compelling, and concise case statements. Contact us about our services.