The Capital Campaign Feasibility Study: Always a Good Idea
The consultant next drafts the questions to be asked at the interviews. The draft is circulated among the client’s staff, board and other volunteers for their input. The consultant then prepares the final version of the interview questions.
Most consultants interview betweeen 35 and 40 individuals selected by the client. This normally includes board members, staff members, past donors, other major gift prospects and other volunteers. The interviews determine participants’ levels of familiarity with the organization and its programs, their willingness to give (and at what dollar levels) and their willingness to serve as solicitors for the campaign.
Understand finally that the completed feasibility study will recommend one of three courses of action:
1. Proceed with the capital campaign at the proposed dollar level.
2. Proceed, but at a lower dollar level than originally proposed.
3. Postpone the campaign until the organization has addressed certain important issues (e.g., expanding the board to include more people with money and clout).
Bob Zimmerman and Ann Lehman are partners in the San Francisco-based fundraising consultancy Zimmerman Lehman. Find this and other articles on fundraising, and sign up for the free ZimNotes e-newsletter, at www.zimmerman-lehman.com.