With over 25 years of service to nonprofits nationwide, Carlton and Company understands all the contending theories regarding fundraising feasibility studies. The very best advice: some nonprofits benefit considerably from a well-designed staff and Board or study, particularly when initial needs seem vague need more definite data to move forward with confidence. However a poorly designed study never represents a shrewd step. (If, in fact, your leadership has "set the table" with sound preparatory work, you might be able to transition directly into a major solicitation with no Study-- but be careful not to overestimate progress to date!)
No matter your circumstances, the primary aim always should contain getting the assignments right for ultimate success. A in-depth feasibility study might be your best step (contrary to gimmicks that claim to shortcut studies with apt messaging and staff coaching alone). Done correctly, capital campaign feasibility studies bring increased clarity and trust and engagement - all worth the early investment. Therefore, a successful study should be regarded as a primary tool in almost any campaign that was leading that was successful. Nevertheless, you might want to ignore any "expert" who says a study should ALWAYS or NEVER be demanded!
Capital campaign feasibility studies represent months of work and preparatory research. Ask for a recent sample copy when appraising prospective firms that run fundraising feasibility studies. As with any procedure predicated on data, look formatting and previous colors. Look attentively at what forms the basis for recommendations.
Leaders or exactly how many supporters had input? Were they asked or contacted? Were wedded pairs counted as one or two individual interviews, if interviewed as a couple? Were interviews hurried in brief sessions that operate only as guided "fill out a form" meetings?
The Carlton fundraising feasibility procedure comprises the widest possible input from stakeholders, based on respectful, personal face-to-face interviews (not mass emails or fill in bubble surveys). This approach invests significant time to learn about the unique history and donors of a nonprofit organization, including subtle but critical details discounted or easily overlooked.
The bottom line: Capital effort feasibility studies should not be regarded as required in every capital campaign, nor should they be considered high-priced scams. They are well worth the investment when they produce clear recommendations desired, supported by hard data as well as a trustworthy procedure.
Remember that, most importantly, a Carlton and Company campaign feasibility study provides what your decision makers need to move forward and meet with your aim with complete trust.
See Carlton and Company at fundraising-campaigns.org.
For additional information about capital campaign university
browse our new resource