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.
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!”