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The Importance of Feasability When Raising Mega Bucks

Without question, the most important step in preparing for a campaign is to conduct a thorough and objective feasibility study.

The plans and goals are presented in confidence to a carefully selected cross-section of the community, and these individuals are asked for their candid evaluations. A sense of organization and professionalism is established from the beginning, which instills confidence in the donor community. This study often uncovers positive factors, which have not been stressed by the institution, but are perceived as strengths by the community. Occasionally, negative factors appear as well, and countering efforts can be planned in time to avoid damage to the campaign.

A properly conducted feasibility study can tell you not only if your objectives are realistic, but also how you can achieve them. It should determine the ultimate dollar goal; set the time frame for the campaign; identify potential leadership and major gifts; test the case for support and serve as the starting point in the marketing of your campaign to prospective donors and volunteers. In addition to these issues, the assessment will address questions of program coordination, staffing, budget, print materials and related institutional activities such as special events and public relations.


Week 1 - If no case statement exists, a document that outlines the organization's needs must be drawn up.

Weeks 2 -3 - Prepare a campaign prospectus that outlines in a precise and compelling manner the objectives of the campaign, their rationale, the financial goals to be achieved and a preliminary campaign timetable.

Weeks 4-5 - Prepare the study questionnaire. Research and review fund raising history. Establish a list of donors to be interviewed. Evaluate staffing needs.

Weeks 6-8 - Conduct interviews.

Weeks 9-10 - Assess findings and prepare written report, which will include thefollowing:

Constituency assessment of the importance of the campaign objectives, including the relative importance of campaign components.

Perception by key constituents, with recommendations on strategies to address areas of concern.

Willingness of key constituents to become involved as volunteers, advocates and advisors.

Recommendations for effective campaign organization and overall planning.

Recommendations for Campaign Chair, Honorary Chair, Campaign Committee and Sub-committees.

Strategies to strengthen prospect cultivation and involvement.

Recommendations for campaign budget, accounting, gift crediting and campaign reporting procedures.

Campaign timetable.

Potential of the campaign to reach its goals: recommendations for alternative goals, if necessary.

A good feasibilty study is always conducted by a person outside the community being surveyed so that the impartiality of the study and confidentiality of the information being gathered is assured.

About Lance Winslow

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