Capital Campaigns, Major Gifts

What is a Feasibility Study?

A feasibility study is an in-depth examination of the organization’s internal capacity, proposed capital project, and the philanthropic potential to support a capital campaign.

The Fitz Team conducted a feasibility study for Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area in Jackson Hole, WY. The proposed capital campaign project was an opportunity to build 24 affordable homes in downtown Jackson. This would meet a huge community need, but it would also required Habitat to fundraise a significant amount of money to fund the project.

Fundraising Goal

  • $4 million to fund the construction of the homes. In addition to the capital costs, the organization needed to fundraise
  • $1.2 million to expand their annual fund to support increased operations
  • $800,00 to create a home repurchase fund

There was an additional challenge that the organization needed to gain a better understanding on in order to garner community support for the campaign. The topic of “affordable housing” and this specific housing project has been very controversial in the small town and there were different perspectives among community leaders on how to address this issue.

A feasibility study provides an opportunity for the Fitz Team to speak one-on-one with all the key stakeholders in the organization about the campaign and gain their candid responses. We are investigating if everyone is “on board” with the idea, if the fundraising goal is attainable, if they will personally give and if they are willing to engage their friends in the campaign. Questions can include:

Results & Recommendations Report

The Fitz Team synthesized and analyzed the information collected from the interviews. Feasibility Study Results can look like this:

  • Fifty percent (50%) of study participants stated that they are going to donate to the campaign.
  • Twenty-five percent (25%) will consider donating to the proposed campaign.
  • Fifteen percent (15%) will not make a gift.
  • Ten percent (10%) do not know if they will make a gift.

Thirty-five (35) study participants self-identified the level of gift they would make to the campaign. The total giving range recorded is $2,500,000 to $4,500,000.

The Recommendation from this Result would be: The Organization has the philanthropic capacity to proceed with the capital campaign.

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Post Feasibility Study

The Habitat Teton Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve moving forward with a $6 million campaign. To-date, Habitat Teton has raised approximately $2.2 million towards that goal. The groundbreaking ceremony was hosted on June 13, 2017 with local officials and Habitat Teton Board and donors in attendance.

“The feasibility study opened doors to conversations with donors who might not otherwise have met with us to talk about the campaign. It was also very helpful to know that many people interviewed self-identified as donors. And it also gave us information on support for a comprehensive campaign and we learned that people didn’t object to a (rather large) increase in our reserve funds.”

  • Patty Lummis, Campaign Co-Chair, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Teton Area

 
“The most valuable outcome of the feasibility for me was understanding donor’s and the public perception of our organization’s image –which was widely positive. And learning donor’s views on our ability to accomplish our goals was the most beneficial to me.”

  • Carol Linton, Campaign Co-Chair, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Teton Area

3 thoughts on “What is a Feasibility Study?”

  1. This type of study seems like a valuable investment. How much would a non profit typically pay for a feasibility study?
    Curious why they wont ask for sustained support from city gov? I would think Carlsbad would have deeper pockets than Escondido or vista….

    1. Hi Betty,

      Thanks for your comment!!

      Pricing is based on the size of the organization, Board, campaign and fundraising goal. It varies from firm to firm.

      NVA does receive funding from the City — including $1/year lease for the building they are in, a huge savings every year.

      Renee

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