The #1 Question Your Feasibility Study Must Answer
Feasibility studies are a critical first step in fundraising. They typically are 20 to 30 questions in length and give you a great perspective on your organization: how people view the board, the effectiveness of the team, and who in the community should lead the campaign. So, of all of these questions, which is the most important?
None of the ones you’re asking!
A good feasibility study doesn’t just answer the direct who, what, and why questions; it gives you a clear picture of the perceptions around your organization and its proposed project. These perceptions, taken together and analyzed carefully, answer the most important question of all: does your organization have the credibility needed to successfully reach your campaign goal?
Feasibility study questions should be carefully designed to determine your credibility, a critical component of your organization’s Asking RightsTM, as it related to your local community and potential investors.
Let’s face it, individuals and companies will not invest in an organization they don’t trust. Your organizational credibility must be strong to reach your goal.
So, asking questions such,
- How effective is the board;
- What are the specific accomplishments and projects of this organization; and
- Is this project the number one civic priority for this community;
can provide the background needed to determine the credibility level of your organization. As the interviews unfold, the conversations spurred by your initial questions are likely to provide keen insight into the overall level of confidence.
Sometimes, hearing what isn’t said is just as important. If interviewees as a group cannot rate the effectiveness of the board or identify accomplishments, chances are you have some public relations work to do before embarking on a funding campaign. By listening to what is said and understanding what isn’t said, your study will determine if you have the credibility – and the Asking RightsTM – to move to the next step of your campaign.