If you want to successfully raise the funds you need then never hold a capital campaign without first doing a feasibility study! Few companies take the time to invest in setting the stage for success. Nothing prepares you for a campaign like a feasibility study. Here is a brief definition of feasibility studies.
Feasibility studies are designed to assess the level of readiness for a possible capital funding drive. More specifically, to:
- Test the level of understanding and enthusiasm for the vision that needs funding/future capital fund drives.
- Surface anything (actual or potential problems) that must be addressed before they impact results negatively.
- Help to cultivate potential donors.
Gail Perry is a non-profit fund raising expert that I follow. She recently posted an article on her blog entitled, “Who Needs a Capital Campaign Feasibility Study? YOU DO!” Here is a quote from her blog…
Through a process of one-on-one interviews with major donors, primary staff members, and key volunteers, your campaign consultant will be able to answer all of these questions:
Is your case for support as clear and effective as it can be?
How much money will the organization actually be able to raise — is your goal realistic, or does it need to be revised?
Does the organization have the staff, board, volunteers and more that’s required to run a successful capital campaign?
What does a realistic timetable look like for this campaign? Who will you be able to tap as your campaign’s leaders and donors?
How do others, particularly potential donors, view the organization?
Good points! She then asks the question that many ask of me, “Why hire an outside consultant to do your feasibility study?” Her answer was…
Because your donors will feel more comfortable talking “off the record” to her about issues that concern them.
You never have to recover from a good start! Feasibility studies allow you to know what the lay of the land is BEFORE you start the campaign. You will thus have a much greater opportunity for success than simply going blind into a campaign. Here are some illustrations from our feasibility work…
- A pastor we worked with was afraid that the cost of the new sanctuary would exceed $10 million. We found out his leaders did not care if it went beyond a set number they were willing to pay more to do it right the first time! Knowing this gave the pastor assurance to build what was needed.
- Another pastor was newly arrived to his church and wondered if members would support a campaign or not. We found out that in his two years of service they had fully accepted his leadership and were ready to move forward. The campaign was launch with confidence.
- A church we worked with was told by banks that they had to have a capital campaign. We discovered that though members understood that the timing of the campaign would work best if we waited until next year. Now we are set for a greater level of success.
“The best intelligence I have ever had going into a capital campaign!” Those were the words of Pastor Shane Bishop of Christ Church several years ago after we had completed out feasibility study for them. Since then we have done two more feasibility studies. It is one major reason why they have experienced such success with their capital campaigns.
The time for spring campaign feasibility studies is now! Contact us today about how we can provide your church with the best intelligence you have ever had!
Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach
Founder and President
The Charis Group and Charis Giving Solutions