Are Feasibility Studies worth the time and expense?

Are Feasibility Studies worth the time and expense?

February 27th, 2013

by Kris Kindelsperger


The advancement department’s budget is pinched, yet the pressure to raise more money continues to grow. Strategic planning is revealing a host of new priorities that all need funding.

With limited resources, how can you appropriately plan for the funding needs of your organization?

We often say “hope is not a strategy,” and in today’s economic environment, not fully understanding the capacity and interests of your donor base to fund your vision can be deadly.

In our experience, nothing has come along to replace a well done feasibility study for accomplishing three things:

  • Assessing the sheer capacity of your current and prospective donor base. 
    • Is sufficient capacity resident in your donor population to reach a specified goal? 
  • Assessing the level of interest and engagement that donors have in the vision, direction, and components that will be a part of a campaign.
    • If the capacity is there, is the willingness present to support what you want to accomplish?
  • Developing funding strategies that will maximize individual giving levels. 
    • Are there circumstances unique to individual donors that must be accommodated in structuring an “investment level” gift?

Ben Franklin is reported to have said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Setting a goal and hoping you can reach it, is not a formula for success. Investing a relatively small amount in a feasibility study in relation to your goal can prove to be the best money you ever spent.

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