Powered by GreenFaith

Building in Good Faith - Green Building Resource for Religious Institutions

Fundraising Green Dollars: Making the Case for Building Green - 4

Creating Your Materials and "Case"

The "case," very simply, is the argument, or line of reasoning, that justifies your project. It states briefly and persuasively how your project directly addresses an important need of your organization and how its completion will significantly advance your organization's capacity to fulfill its core mission and strategic goals. Case statements can be as short as a paragraph and as long as several pages. It is concise and well-reasoned. Its purpose is to gain the reader's support. Obviously, the environmental aspects of your building project should play a meaningful role in your case statement. You should describe the environmental benefits and financial savings related to your green building, and make clear that building in this way is consistent with the values of your religious tradition.

In addition to the case statement, you may want to employ other materials, such as drawings, brochures, DVDs, etc. that make the case for your project and its "greenness." And when the time comes to ask your institution's members for their support, you might want to have a "leave behind" gift for them to contemplate as they consider the size of their gift--and to share with a spouse, or other family and friends. Sometimes, this can make a real difference in their decision. For instance, your Campaign Committee could get small sample amounts of a green building material from an architect, builder or supplier as a way of signifying the "greenness" of the project.

Educating your institution's leaders about financial issues such as Life-Cycle Cost Analysis can help them make responsible, long-term choices during your building or renovation project.

Something to remember about campaign materials is that effective materials come in all shapes and sizes…and price tags. If professionally produced DVDs are not financially reasonable for your organization, a well-thought out brochure can be highly effective. Indeed, the effectiveness of campaign materials results far more from the clarity of thought that goes into them than the money spent on them. And if your project is going to be green, seek to make its related processes and materials green also - whether by printing brochures on recycled paper or through other means.

Publicizing your Project

Nothing helps your fundraising efforts like buzz…that current of excitement within a community that gets communicated from one person to another…at parties and gatherings, by cell phone and e-mail, at drop-off and pick-up time, etc.
Create that buzz in as many ways as you can, both within your organization (through sermons, newsletters, etc.) and within the wider community (through press releases to your local newspapers accompanied by good "renderings" (architectural drawings of what your project will look like when completed) or photographs of your project at key moments in the building process. This creates a positive perception of the project and its impact on the institution and wider community. Don't hesitate to contact the news departments of your local television and radio stations to see if there may be an angle to your project they might find "newsworthy." A "green" project often fills that bill.

Finally, publicize your project in denominational magazines and newsletters, again making the point that your project is important within a wider context, which is often a motivating factor for donors.

© GreenFaith. All rights reserved.
Designed and Hosted by Princeton Online
46 Bayard St, #401
New Brunswick, NJ 08901