Daily Nuggets: Blog
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Nobody wants to fund ‘case management’

Nick Fellers | June 18, 2009

Two years ago an ED said to me, “Nobody funds case management.” That’s because nobody understands case management – and neither do I. Case management is like ‘management’, ‘overhead’, ‘operations’, etc.

We spend the better part of 30 minutes talking about all the things that a case manager enabled clients to do/achieve. For this org, it was helping women (w/ children) deal with obstacles to permanent housing and family issues such as getting kids to school, domestic violence, nutrition, etc.

We re-branded our case management as a ‘Healthy Families Initiative.’ Allowed us to focus on the IMPACT of the program. Much easier to talk about, sell and share.

Test yourself, if you’re doing something that’s hard for others to understand then work on the MESSAGE. Start with the IMPACT or OUTCOME or WHY of the program and go from there.

This came up again last week. I was with an organization that helps homeless men and women. We asked the same questions and realized that it was not case management but building a Life Track. We are going to get our Life Track Program funded (and they can spend that money on case managers).

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5 Comments So Far

  • Victoria Coe - June 18th, 2009 9:41 am

    Totally agree, Nick! I remember when I first started at Catholic Charities as marketing manager I had no idea what case management was. Took me forever to figure it out. If someone on the inside had this reaction, imagine what the donors are thinking.


    Nick Fellers reply on June 18th, 2009 11:06 am:

    @Victoria Coe, thx for note! How did you end up marketing it?


  • Victoria Coe - June 18th, 2009 11:18 am

    One of the BIG challenges at Catholic Charities is that there are 35 different programs and pretty much every one of them had a case management component. Very tough for the average person to get a feel for what CC does.

    We used the line from the bible “Whatsoever you do…” and it really struck a chord because it summed up all 35 programs. We grouped the programs into areas such as “children and families,” “seniors,” etc. and we never used the words “case management” to outside audiences.

    We also focused on success stories. I think this is the best and fastest way to show someone the impact of the work.


  • old guy - June 18th, 2009 2:55 pm

    You are brilliant! (Seriously.)


  • The Vision Can Be The Project | forimpact.org - December 2nd, 2009 4:48 pm

    […] Nobody funds case management […]


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