5 Tips for Conducting Feasibility Interviews

5 Tips for Conducting Feasibility Interviews

May 23rd, 2014

by Lee Ernst


A feasibility study interview is an excellent opportunity to listen to top donors and involve them in a meaningful way in the future direction of your organization.  Be sure you are ready to capitalize on this opportunity to speak one-to-one with some of your most important supporters.  Here are some key lessons I’ve learned in conducting feasibility study interviews with several JGA clients over the last few months.


  1. Listen.  Let the interviewee take the conversation where they want it to go.  And don’t worry, you can circle back and talk about needed topics on your agenda before the end of the conversation.
  2. Gain trust.  In the first few minutes its important that trust is established with the interviewee.  As interviewers, we must show neutrality on the topic, and most importantly, ensure confidentiality of the interviewees identity to allow them to speak freely. And if trust seems like too much to achieve, then you can at least demonstrate that you are a “safe” person with whom to share their opinions.
  3.  Go offline.  Deviate from the question protocol to allow for a deeper understanding of the interviewees remarks.
  4.  Prepare.  Study the case, understand all the campaign components and know your organization so you can have a full and meaningful conversation and represent the organization well and with respect.
  5.  Enjoy.  Feasibility study interviews allow you to see the organization from the donor or prospective donor’s view.  You have the chance to hear thoughts from highly intelligent and talented community leaders that have much to share.


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