The role of a feasibility study
A feasibility study aims to determine whether a fundraising campaign, typically a capital campaign or large project, is possible to do within the bounds of cost and time. It is a targeted effort used to assess funding sources. It is important to realise that a feasibility study does not raise funds, but rather lays the foundation for successful fundraising.
In this article, we’ve provided a basic overview of what a feasibility study is, why it should be carried out, who should be involved in the process, and how to use the information gleaned from a feasibility study for your fundraising project.
What Does a Feasibility Study Look Like?
The study provides a detailed assessment for a potential fundraising campaign. It helps the planning team look at:
- Purpose and goals
- Organisation’s history and reputation
- How best to present the project and your case for support
- Identifies possible sources of funding
- Identifies and evaluates potential major donors and fundraising leaders
- Likely yield from each funding source
- Estimated time frame
- Recommended fundraising approach
- Options for resourcing the fundraising
It results in the production of a report which should be reviewed by representatives of the organisation including members of the governing board and key staff members.
Why Do a Feasibility Study?
A study can save time and money. While research should be done before any fundraising project, it can determine its viability while leaving time and money to meet the project’s goals.
Many fundraising projects have been started, only to be shut down because it was unfeasible. Unfortunately, there is no way to know it is unfeasible without first doing a detailed study. Rather than starting a project that is doomed to fail, a feasibility study can enable potential problems or weaknesses to be identified and thus dealt with, before moving forward.
Who Should Be Involved?
The process involves the following people:
- Those within the organisation, including board members, paid staff, and volunteers
- Friends and supporters of the organisation who tend to be more honest about the project
- Those who are not associated with the organisation but are experts in their fields
How to Use the Information
The study will indicate whether most of the project’s goals are realistic. If they are not, it is time to re-think the idea. The feasibility study will also indicate how much time and money will be required to reach the project’s goals. This will be an indication of how realistic they are.
A feasibility study assesses a fundraising project’s viability and allows organisers to make changes before starting accordingly. Its ultimate goal is to develop a sound fundraising project that meets your objectives.
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