In a recent blog post, we dove into the details of what all goes into our version of a feasibility or planning study for a capital campaign. You heard about the Study Summit and you also learned that this is a crucial step in the process of outlining a strong foundation for a successful capital campaign. Now let’s take a look at how that Study Summit is the vital first stage and all the Campaign Readiness Study entails!
Let’s begin by first taking a step back… The Campaign Readiness Study Summit is the first piece that takes place in this important pre-campaign phase. But before it can begin, there is typically a one-month to six weeks time period required to prepare for this jam-packed event.
Let’s break this down month by month so we understand this process a bit better.
In month one, the Crescendo team are working together to review background materials and write a brief summary on the organization and the project. Basically we’re getting to know the organization a bit better, understanding the mission of the organization and sharing the key benefits of the proposed project or campaign to donors. During this time, consultants also are identifying key players who could become key study committee members and begin preparations for the day of the summit.
Month two is where we actively are trying to recruit friends of the organization to determine if they would be interested in working with our client to review the results of the study and weigh in on the next steps. Clients are reaching out via phone, email, or in person to discuss the Summit with these individuals and asking if they would be interested in working on a committee with us! It’s also during this time that we are carefully crafting every aspect of the process: drafting the scripts to recruit possible respondents, creating public facing online surveys, developing the personal confidential interview questions, and creating the focus group outlines.
Still in month two, committee members are now established and we ask them to help us identify who would be good candidates to participate as interviewees and focus groups based on criteria that we provide. Some more finalization, letters sent to summit participants, and with that, we are ready for the Study Summit! Interviews, focus groups, online surveys, oh my!
Then the interesting part begins as this is where we will be able to determine the capacity of the proposed campaign:
Is strong volunteer leadership available to meet the outlined goal?
Is the focus of the project engaging to major donors and donors in general?
Are the benefits of the project important to those interviewed?
What are the most important questions or concerns that were identified for the campaign or to meet the goal?
Do the respondents believe the goal can be met?
Are they interested in helping in any way to see the project come to fruition?
Is a lead gift available, typically 15 to 18 percent of the goal?
We have a busy day of completing focus groups and interviews at the Study Summit. We follow up with our participants via an online survey to ask if there is anything else they may have thought of or that they might not have been sharing in a group setting. While we just flew through month two and made it seem like a breeze - this is a very intense and crucial month to Crescendo and the potential Capital Campaign as a whole.
The next several weeks are spent carefully analyzing Study Summit participant responses to create a comprehensive Campaign Readiness Study report and detailed course of action. As this analysis unfolds, Crescendo consultants focus on a few major pieces to ensure there aren’t hidden issues that could surface during the Capital Campaign as well as determining if a Capital Campaign is even the right next step. One of the first areas of focus in the report is on projected benefits of the project to the members of the community and the businesses in the area. While we like to be optimistic about our campaign, it’s also important that we remain realistic too!
As the results are analyzed key donors, lead gift contributors, campaign leaders, committee leaders and members, and volunteers are identified. Without these important respondents, we would not be able to provide the best information for our clients! We are so thankful for the teams and prospective and current donors that come together to help us make these campaigns successful and it’s important that we have these committees, leaders, and volunteers established early in the process as they play a critical role all the way through the Capital Campaign!
If you’ve been contemplating whether now is the right time for you and your organization to determine if this planning or feasibility study is right for you, don’t wait any longer! Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule a free consultation. We will help you determine if now is the right time! We look forward to hearing from you!