Our Capital Campaign Feasibility Studies always have multiple goals. Of course, we can all agree that the #1 goal of a feasibility study is to research your gift potential for your pending capital campaign.
But you also want your study to move your donor prospects forward by engaging them. Hopefully, their interview can also increase their interest in the campaign. We hope to trigger their involvement to help make the campaign a reality – and their eventual participation as campaign donors.
Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Questions Are Based in Psychology.
Our capital campaign feasibility study questions are somewhat based in psychology. We are inquiring about the donor’s interests, their feelings about the organization, and their willingness to give.
We consider our interviews as advice conversations and gentle Gift Conversations. Our questions may appeal are personal in nature but they are designed to engage the donor and yield essential information to planning your capital campaign.
This is why the topics need to be asked in a particular sequence. they build on one another so the conversation is not pushy or awkward.
Given this, it’s vitally important to be aware, polite, and ready to shift if your donor gives off signals that they don’t want to pursue a particular topic.
However, on the other hand, many donors really have something to say to our consultants. Even more, they are eager to share it. It’s clear that these donors are certainly not holding back!
The donors who are sharing strong opinions are likely to be very passionate supporters. Even if they are critical about something, they often care deeply about the organization – which is why they complain.
Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Question Topics
Our clients always ask us about the topics that will be covered when we chat with their donors. They want to know about the capital campaign feasibility study questions themselves.
So why is it important for consultants to ask these questions? Often the answer is consultants bring objectivity to the interview. But we think it is more than just objectivity.
As experienced major gift practitioners, we bring a level of expertise, sophistication and awareness that makes it easy for your donor to share their advice and thinking about your project and campaign.
In other words, our interview conversations yield key insights that inform your campaign plan and strategy. This is how our campaign consultants gather the information to develop a unique campaign strategy for each individual client.
Our Campaign Map identifies not whether our clients can meet their campaign goal, but HOW, when and where they can raise the money.
Section One – Organization’s Image and Reputation
We like to begin our questioning by setting the context. These feasibility study questions help us know how close the donor is to the organization, and what they think of the organization. Are they insiders or are they more distant? More importantly, we begin to get a feel for how the organization is positioned in the community.
- Tell me about your connections and history with our organization.
- What is the public image of ORG in your opinion? (Scale of 1-5)
- How would you describe ORG’s community image and reputation?
- What would you say its strengths and weaknesses are?
- Can you rate the visibility of ORG in your opinion? (Scale of 1-5)
Section Two – Case for Support/Vision Statement
These capital campaign feasibility study questions will reveal important feedback about the hoped-for projects included in the campaign. We want to find out if some aspects of the campaign are more popular with donors than others. In addition, we want to find out what questions donors are asking about the projects and the potential campaign.
- Have you had a chance to review the Vision Statement?
- What questions do you have about the proposed plan?
- Do you think the proposed project is sound and feasible? Does the Vision Statement present a convincing argument? (Scale of 1-5)
- What are the most compelling parts of the Vision Statement? What resonated most with you?
- Do you personally support the project that’s outlined here? (Scale of 1-5)
- Do you think ORG’s donors will support these initiatives? (Scale of 1-5)
- Do you think that next year would be a good time for a campaign? (Scale of 1-5)
Section Three: Financial Feasibility
Now our capital campaign feasibility study questions move to a discussion about money. We want to gauge the interviewee’s reaction to these dollar amounts, and above all, we want them to mention possible donors to the campaign. Also, we usually place the gift chart right in front of the donor. They have a chance to We review and consider it before we ask these questions.
- In order to accomplish this goal (these initiatives), ORG will need to raise approximately xxxxx over the next few years. Do you think the proposed goal is attainable? (Scale of 1-5)
- Do you think our community would respond positively to a campaign for these initiatives? Do you think it is appropriate for ORG to go forward with a capital campaign now? (Scale of 1-5)
- Show them the Gift Table.
This chart shows how the campaign might be organized. You can see that ORG would need several gifts in the $2k-$5 million range, and a lead gift of $15 million. Do you think ORG can raise these gifts? (Scale of 1-5)
- From which individuals, corporations or foundations do you believe the top gifts might come?
Or who do you think in the community might support the campaign? Or would you be willing to brainstorm with me about some potential supporters of the campaign? This is an all-important part of campaign preparation. We want to start identifying where the lead gifts will come from and begin focusing on those donors immediately. Some interviewees are uncomfortable with this question, so we choose different ways to phrase it based on their reactions.
Section Four: Campaign Leadership
These capital campaign feasibility study questions will reveal the best potential volunteer leaders for the campaign. We want to know who the individuals are who have the most influence, can open doors to donors, and lend credibility to the campaign. Then we hope to discover a strategy for enlisting them. In addition, we are seeking to determine if our interviewee is willing to volunteer with the campaign, and what might be the best way to enlist their help as well.
- Do you think ORG can enlist the appropriate volunteer leaders to assure the campaign’s success? (Scale of 1-5)
- Who do you think are the most important people in the community who should be involved in the campaign?
- Would you be willing to help with the campaign in some way? (Scale of 1-5)
- If they respond that they would be willing to help in some way, then ask,
Would you consider a leadership role in the campaign? (Scale of 1-5)
- If they say they would consider a leadership role, then ask,
Would you consider chairing or co-chairing the effort?
Section Five: Willingness to Give and Participate
These capital campaign feasibility study questions are the heart of the study. They will reveal much about the potential donor: their level of enthusiasm and personal interest in the organization, what appeals to them most, and especially, what level of gift they might consider.
- What priority might you personally assign to this campaign? (Scale of 1-5)
- Is ORG among your top philanthropic interests? (Scale of 1-5)
- What could ORG do in terms of information, education, and involvement to increase your interest or engage you more deeply in its work?
- Is there a special aspect or area of the campaign (or priority within the campaign) that appeals to you more than the rest?
- When the time comes for the campaign, do you think you will make a personal gift? (Scale of 1-5)
- Would you be willing to share what level of future gift you might consider for the campaign?
(Remember that many donors will not share a specific number or range of numbers in this discussion. However, that does not mean that they will not ultimately give. Also, this question is easier for consultants to ask than it is for staff to ask!)
Section Six: Organizational Leadership
It’s always good to find out what donors think of the organization’s leadership. These questions help you determine who the donor may respect the most, and who would be the best person to cultivate them.
- Do you know ORG’s Executive Director? How would you describe their reputation?
- Are you familiar with the board of ORG?
- How would you rate the strength of ORG’s current board? (Scale of 1-5)
- How would you rate the fundraising strength of ORG’s board? (Scale of 1-5)
- Thank you so much! Do you have any other comments or suggestions that might be helpful?
Bottom Line: Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Questions
This approach can deliver wonderful information from donors. We can discover so much about their interests, their feelings about the organization, and what they consider a campaign gift. As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly insights with you as we cover important fundraising strategies. If your organization is planning a capital campaign or expanding your major gifts program – we can help. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to schedule a free strategy call with us.