No More Feasibility Studies
STOP FEASIBILITY STUDIES.
Having watched hundreds (maybe even thousands) of nonprofits do feasibility studies, I still don’t get it!
- Internal staff get together and agree they need more money.
- An internal group decides to do a campaign to raise more money.
- Internal leaders enlist external consultants to do a feasibility study for justification, CYA, and backup.
Consultant conversation with a prospect goes like this: “If XYZ nonprofit org were to do a hypothetical campaign with a hypothetical goal, how much hypothetical money would you hypothetically give to this hypothetical campaign?” (UGH!)
START LEADERSHIP CONSENSUS BUILDING
INVOLVEMENT begets INVESTMENT!!
Instead of feasibility, think ‘Leadership Consensus Building.’ Get your TOP STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED in BUILDING the PLAN – for both IMPACT and INCOME!!!
This OWNERSHIP will translate into a HUGE RETURN on the time, energy and resources you INVEST in this process.
I’ve chosen these 3 words carefully, and have used this process effectively for the last 20 years:
- LEADERSHIP. It is what it is. It is what it says. Engage your best leaders in this process of message clarification, prioritization, and funding planning.
- CONSENSUS. Consensus is about the right decision, NOT (necessarily) about unanimous agreement on a politically correct, watered-down, something–for–everyone plan. Consensus (on Purpose/ Priorities/Plan) creates commitment, generates momentum, and forces engagement (vs. passive participation.)
- BUILDING. This is the kicker. This is the action word that makes this idea worth millions! You must provide a framework to let your stakeholders help BUILD THE PLAN!
This approach also serves as ‘THE’ most powerful form of PREDISPOSITION, since it answers one of the 3 most Frequently Asked Questions, “WHO DECIDED WHERE THE MONEY GOES?” with an emphatic, “YOU DID!”