The goals of a feasibility study are fairly straightforward. Organizations often want to know first if they can conduct a capital campaign, if so how much they can raise, and then how long it will take them to raise the money.
These are obviously important questions to answer but there are several more benefits of a feasibility study that can be overlooked as strategically beneficial. Let us explore a few of them below.
Database Cleaning and Housekeeping
During a feasibility study an organization will want to compile a list of stakeholders, donors, and other entities. What you may find is that in the process of inviting individuals to participate in a feasibility study interview you may discover that the contact information you have for some of your closest supporters is no longer correct. Returned mail, landlines disconnected, and professional information no longer valid are common occurrence.
In the quote at the beginning of this article the person had changed jobs, moved, and transitioned off the board all within a matter of months. They were suddenly completely lost to the organization. The feasibility study gave the organization an opportunity to reconnect with the individual, listen to their concerns, apologize and fix the situation, and ultimately bring a beloved supporter back into the fold.
The concern over even a single example inspired the organization to run the entire 5,000 constituent database through a National Change of Address clearing house. The result was a recapturing of 8% of their previous donors.
Donors and stakeholders want to help and welcome opportunities with little time or financial investment to make a difference. Frequently an e-survey is implemented as part of a feasibility study. A survey is a great way to focus on those who do not always receive the white glove experience. Your grassroots supporters and volunteers are sometimes the front line and their advice can be incredibly important but by closing the loop and making sure that they know their voice was heard they will feel even more entrenched in your mission.
If your organization relies on volunteers on a regular basis being involved in a feasibility study may prompt an individual to think about how they can get more involved. Involvement might include single events stuffing envelopes, mission-driven recurring volunteering, or even serving on your board. No matter how your stakeholders want to get involved a feasibility study can help you recruit volunteers and have your volunteers understand how important their contribution can be.
Every organization can benefit from developing a culture of philanthropy. Each employee of the organization can think about how they impact fundraising whether it is via storytelling, information gathering, or helping directly with donor cultivation. When the entire organization focuses on fundraising it is not simply a linear result because each person benefits from the inputs of another and the best ideas rise to the top with full buy-in.
Focus on the Goal
Each of these secondary benefits has a direct impact on the original goal of the organization which is to elevate the mission through funding and capital resources. When all of these stepping stones are developed the final result is an even greater potential.