The 3 E’s of a Good Case

August 31, 2017



Written By: Danny

By Danny Maier

I was watching an interview with an Academy Award-winning film director on how he selected screenplays. “I select a story based on the 3E’s; its ability to entertain, educate and elevate the audience.” My wife turned to me, “That sounds like what you want a case to do.” Amen to that.

So how do you make sure that your case – whether annual, capital or endowment – entertains, educates and elevates your donors?

  • Entertain: Does your case come across dry? “Help send a kid to camp.” Or does it entertain? “Camp builds self-confidence. Teaches leadership skills. Camp changes lives.”
  • Educate: What new interesting information does your case convey? “Kids average six hours per day – ¼ of every day – in front of a computer and TV screen. Yet without screens, kids report camp helps them build stronger relationships, develop skills to resolve conflict, improve their physical fitness, and develop good decision-making skills.”
  • Elevate: Can your donor picture their role in your case? “Do you remember your time at camp? Can you still sing the songs? You can change the life of one child through a week at camp.”

Does your case inspire them to join you?

This is just one simple example, but you can place your case under this same microscope. If your case can master the three “E”s, be assured your campaigners and donors will respond in kind. And remember one of the best ways  to do all three is to tell a personal and compelling story of one camper, one recipient, or one person who’s life changed thanks to a donor stepping up. Make your case Academy Award-winning.

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3 responses to “The 3 E’s of a Good Case”

  1. Love this! Perfect timing for our Annual Campaign meeting this morning. Review our FFT and talking about case. Would a donor give MORE if they were given a problem to solve and better informed about the difference their gift would make. I love these blogs!! Thanks to everyone on the DBD team for helping to inspire and make me, the coach, think so I can better equip my team!

  2. John Alexander says:

    I enjoy alliteration, which are supposed to start with consonants, Danny, but your 3 Es make for a good lesson…thanks.