When we were asked to build a case for support for Hostelling International, the organization was trying to double its endowment – raising $3 million over three years. It was an ambitious goal, and we understood the importance of hitting the right nerve with donors.
The Hostelling case statement demonstrates the importance of pairing a narrow focus with a global impact. The case statement is incredibly specific in what the organization intends to do – providing safe, available hostels across the United States. Yet it speaks to something much, much larger. It’s not just about making hostels. It’s about fostering international diplomacy, about providing educational life-lessons to young people, and about creating a better world.
That global sentiment is what transforms the necessary into the inspirational. Maybe your organization needs more computers, or a new staff position, or a whole building renovation. But none of those things are particularly inspiring on their own. Open up the “why,” and you’ll arrive at the larger goal that this project is in service to. A donor might not be moved by your organization’s need for a new bunk bed. But they just might want to be a part of furthering education, bridging cultural gaps, and making for a more connected and compassionate world.
– Posted by Jennifer Clements