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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

No More Feasibility Studies


This nugget is an excerpt from from Tom’s Campaign Book.

Image of Campaign Book

No More Feasibility Studies

Having watched hundreds (maybe even thousands) of ‘nonprofits’ do feasibility studies… I still don’t get it!

INTERNAL staff gets together. Agree they need more money. 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.

Think about this ‘feasibility’ scenario:

  • No Sharing of the Vision
  • No Engagement
  • No Dialogue
  • No Involvement
  • No Presentation of an Opportunity

From the ‘consultant’ to the ‘prospect’:

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?

One alternative to consider is true LEADERSHIP CONSENSUS BUILDING

Get your top stakeholders INVOLVED in the building of the PLAN… for both IMPACT and INCOME!!!

This OWNERSHIP will translate into a huge return on the time, energy and resources you INVEST in the process.

I’ve chosen these three words carefully, and used this process effectively for the last 25 years.

  1. LEADERSHIP. It is what it is. It is what is says. Engage your best LEADERS in the process of message clarification, prioritization and the funding plan.

  2. CONSENSUS. CONSENSUS is about the RIGHT DECISION… Not (necessarily) about ‘unanimous’ agreement on a politically correct, watered down, something-for-everyone mission statement/plan. CONSENSUS (on Vision/Priorities/Goals) creates commitment… generates momentum… and forces engagement (vs. passive participation).

    Nota Bene: “PASSION IS CONTAGIOUS!” (Nick Fellers)

  3. 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.

    *This approach also serves as the most powerful form of PREDISPOSITION.