Building a Data-backed Nonprofit Healthcare Case for Support
Fundraising for nonprofit healthcare organizations comes with additional regulations, and nuances like HIPAA privacy considerations may affect how an organization is able to convey its impact. However, like every other nonprofit organization, to acquire support, healthcare organizations must build a case for support.
In this guide, you’ll discover how to write a compelling case for support and what data to include to make your case more compelling. First, let’s explore exactly what a case for support is and why healthcare organizations should focus on writing one.
What is a case for support?
NXUnite defines a case for support as your organization’s “core message and set of reasons why potential supporters should donate to your current fundraising campaign.” A compelling case for support will outline why your organization needs financial support and how this support will be used to further your unique initiatives.
In the context of healthcare nonprofit organizations, your case for support will most likely detail how the funding goes towards furthering healthcare research initiatives, facility improvements, operational improvements, and other objectives related to enhancing patient care.
Cases for support are usually used as letters to major donors or in board presentations to outline funding needs. The document is also used as a part of marketing materials to educate contributors about your cause and rally support.
How can you write a compelling case for support?
Your case for support should present a persuasive argument for why donors should support your organization. To write a succinct and effective case for support, you’ll need to:
- Establish credibility. A well-crafted and thorough case for support uses data to highlight your healthcare organization’s expertise and credibility. Add success stories, case studies, and tracked metrics to demonstrate your organization’s reliability.
- Articulate your funding need. Most cases for support are directly related to major fundraisers, like capital campaigns. Your case for support should detail exactly what your organization is raising funds for, such as new equipment, advanced research, or new building additions.
- Connect your need to your organization’s purpose. Explain how the specific initiatives you are raising funding for will help your healthcare organization achieve its purpose. For instance, the Valley Hospital Foundation describes its vision for a new building addition that will “preserve and expand its impact in the region, and to ensure it can meet the needs of future generations”.
- Provide a solution and plan of action. Articulate your need and explain how your organization will address this challenge with the help of funding from supporters. Your case for support should outline your thought process for overcoming challenges and why your plan of action is necessary and optimal.
- Identify how donors can help.How can your organization’s donors help fundraise or spread awareness for your campaign? Depending on your case for support, you might incentivize donors to volunteer, offer legacy gifts, or attend a fundraising event like a gala.
Throughout your case for support, tie your project to your organization’s mission and values, so that stakeholders understand how their contributions further your cause. Your organization’s need for updated equipment or cancer research grants, for example, may be relevant to your promise to further health equity.
When should you craft a case for support?
Cases for support are developed to clarify a large-scale campaign’s purpose and to communicate funding needs to high-impact donors. Other scenarios that merit a case for support include:
- Major donor solicitations. When approaching major donors or corporations for support, present your case for support to explain why your project is relevant, necessary, and worth their investment.
- Board and stakeholder engagement opportunities. Cases for support can be useful to engage current board members and other stakeholders who already support your organization and understand your mission and values.
- Grant applications. Many grant applications will require nonprofits to submit a grant proposal. This document is essentially an opportunity for applicants to present their case for support. With grant applications, tailor your case for support to demonstrate how your proposed project aligns with the grantmaker’s mission.
- Advocacy and public awareness campaigns. Causes related to policy changes or requiring public support also merit a case for support as a tool to educate the public or persuade legislators. In this instance, be sure to provide a detailed explanation of why a proposed policy change is urgent and how supporters can spread the word.
- Strategic planning and organizational development. During strategic planning sessions, use a case for support to evaluate and assess funding needs and justify backing for a specific fundraising direction.
Tailor your case for support to each audience you present it to. For instance, grateful patient programs often update previous patients with healthcare initiatives they might be interested in supporting. These cases for support could include recent impactful patient stories related to the recipient's experience.
What data can healthcare organizations include in their case for support?
Your case for support should include reliable data from past successful projects to inspire stakeholders to back your newest campaign. Leverage healthcare analytics tools to explore your organization’s efficiency and operational health, and source reliable data to include in your case for support.
For nonprofit healthcare organizations, there are two data types to consider: financial and clinical data.
Financial data encaptures your organization’s cost efficiency metrics. Operating expenses, profit margins, and ROI are included within this data category. These metrics show stakeholders that your organization can responsibly manage funds. Additionally, financial data can illustrate gaps in funding that offer validity for your case.
Financial data includes:
- Revenue sources: Individual donations, grants, and corporate sponsorships that demonstrate your organization’s financial stability and diversification.
- Expense reports: Breakdown of the organization’s administrative and operational costs that illustrate your organization’s financial management capabilities.
- Budget allocation: Provides an overview of your organization’s fund distribution among various programs.
- Fundraising performance: Data from previous fundraising efforts such as total funds raised, donor retention rates, and growth in fundraising revenue.
Display your financial data in a transparent manner by using visual aids like charts, graphs, and tables. Doing so will make your metrics digestible and easy to understand for non-expert audiences.
Clinical data communicates the impact of your organization’s mission. These data points speak to your organization’s high quality of care by taking into account metrics like patient experience and referral ratings.
Other clinical data examples include:
- Patient outcomes: Treatment success rates, disease remission rates, survival rates, and other patient-related improvements speak to the value of your organization’s care.
- Comparative data: Demonstrate how your organization’s clinical benchmarks compare to industry standards such as regional or national averages.
- Patient satisfaction scores: Data from patient surveys that reflects positively on your organization’s quality of care, communication, and responsiveness.
- Research findings: Population health dashboard examples like Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) findings discuss crucial factors such as demographics and sexual orientation that impact whole communities.
Clinical data can be a strong point for your case for support. Keep your data secure, updated, and relevant to make your case more convincing.
To keep your data in the best shape, many organizations partner with an external vendor. Arcadia’s list of healthcare analytics companies provides options for your organization to research as a starting point. The right vendor will help you collect valuable data and streamline existing operations. In turn, your organization can use your improved performance data to inspire increased donations.
Your nonprofit healthcare organization’s case for support shares your plans for future projects. It outlines why your organization needs funding and what it plans to do with that support. That said, it’s necessary to provide a track record of your organization’s performance to establish credibility among supporters. This will allow you to use historic financial and clinical data and earn supporter trust.
Questions or comments? Join the conversation!