Fundraising feasibility studies are the foundation for a successful capital campaign. So, starting a fundraising campaign without one is akin to starting a road trip without a map – it will be challenging to reach the desired destination. Convergent Nonprofit Solutions has a proven process for conducting feasibility studies. Our approach has fueled the structure of countless multi-million dollar campaigns for our clients. Convergent’s roadmap works, and we are sharing lessons learned so you can strengthen your feasibility study.
Use these five factors to strengthen your fundraising feasibility study.
There are several benefits to outsourcing your feasibility study—including professional, unbiased support, which helps improve accuracy. After all, the feasibility study insights will not do you any good if they are inaccurate. However, whether you hire Convergent to complete a feasibility study or attempt the process independently, these five factors will ensure the final report is detailed and provides actionable insight.
1. Have a solid plan to test.
A feasibility study is a critical step to validating how much a capital campaign could raise. The stronger your proposed plan is, the more likely the study will identify a viable campaign. So, think about the realistic outcomes your project will deliver, not just the activity that will take place. The ability to show interviewees the valuable results your organization provides will validate the funding goal.
2. Know your constituents.
A crucial aspect of a successful feasibility study, and a pathway to a successful campaign, is interviewing the right stakeholders during this process. Above all, interviewees should have financial capacity, followed closely by a connection to and concern for your organization’s work. Convergent will help you prioritize interviewees to ensure the right people participate in the feasibility study.
3. Have answers to the common questions ready.
There are specific concerns that regularly arise in study interviews, and it is vital to make sure you have the solutions ready. For example, if you anticipate concerns about service duplication, your interviewer should understand how the proposed services differ. Questions regarding budget allocation for the proposed funding goal are common as well. While a complete pro-forma budget isn’t necessary, knowing the general application of the fundraised dollars will be important. The value of the study is cultivating engagement and strengthening the potential of a meaningful campaign investment. Naturally, leaving the interviewee with more questions than they started with is counterproductive.
4. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn in your fundraising feasibility study.
If you know a study and potential campaign are on the horizon, be intentional in communicating your successes. Even in a draft prospectus, it is critical to address your organization’s successes. This boosts credibility and shows participants that you’ve got a track record of execution that your proposed new program of work can build upon.
5. Be ready to adapt the plan.
Cultivation is one of the most beneficial roles of a feasibility study. The interview process and the subsequent program refinement stage early in a campaign ensure that critical stakeholders can speak to the plan of work before it is finalized. So, the proposed plan is a draft until it has stakeholder feedback incorporated. As we often say, “If they help write the plan, they’ll help underwrite the plan!”
Convergent Provides Full Service Fundraising Feasibility Study Management
Convergent Nonprofit Solutions provides feasibility study management to nonprofits, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations. Hiring a third-party provider to conduct your feasibility study makes it more likely that your study is structured correctly from the beginning. Our entire focus is helping organizations secure the funding they need to fulfill their mission, and we do it well.
In addition to incorporating the above five factors, we do the heavy fundraising lifting. With our help, organization leaders can stay focused on their daily activities without adding one more thing to their plate. Once the feasibility study is over, Convergent will make recommendations for the next steps. We can even run the fundraising campaign if your organization chooses to retain us.
Here is what some of our clients have to say.
“Convergent was incredibly thoughtful, methodical, intentional, and analytical. They put a lot of emphasis on talking to business leaders about what’s realistic. They showed us what we could expect to raise in terms of resources to impact our community.” – Matt Largen, Williamson, Inc.
“Convergent listened to the leadership, to our potential investors, and they came forward with a plan. They were very accessible. The conversations were very productive.” – Bonne Lowe, President and CEO of The Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas.
Contact us to discover how a Convergent feasibility study can position your organization to meet your fundraising goals.