Whether you call it a “Feasibility Study,” “Campaign Planning Study,” “Campaign Readiness Assessment” or “Oh-My-Gosh-We’re-Actually-Thinking-About-a-CAMPAIGN!” a planning study is critical to laying a solid foundation for a large-scale fundraising effort. Not only does it help prepare your organization internally, but a (good) planning study also externally tests your project plans and campaign concept. But couldn’t/shouldn’t a planning study also include getting a head start on cultivating and soliciting key leadership and lead gifts for the campaign?
That’s where the JB+A Integrated Campaign Planning Study comes into play.
Yes, we need the planning study process to measure internal readiness:
- Assessing the organization’s infrastructure, giving histories and current/previous activities in fundraising
- Reviewing the functionality of the Board and other volunteers as related to fundraising
- Appraising your organization’s financial development strengths
- Determining what is already in place and what is needed to enhance the overall success of your campaign
Yes, we need to a planning study to test external receptivity and get perspective from top donors, leaders and key influencers:
- Seeking community feedback about your organization, your programs, your leadership and the specific project within the campaign
- Gauge the potential for support for the fundraising effort
- Evaluate the fundraising landscape and market viability (potentially competing efforts)
Then we compile and analyze the findings and develop a final report and campaign action plan containing observations, conclusions and recommendations to serve as a nifty road map for implementing your campaign.
Many times, an organization (the Board) will PAUSE after a planning study final report is presented, to contemplate the findings and recommendations and make its own determination of next steps. Yes, a campaign is serious business – life altering, actually – and the decision to undertake one merits serious reflection. But too often, an organization is struck by “analysis paralysis” and lets too much time pass before finally deciding to move forward with a campaign. By then, “real life” is back in full swing, and the project and campaign plan is no longer front and center for staff, volunteers, leadership or prospective donors engaged during the planning study. A tremendous opportunity is lost.
But wait! This delay can be avoided, forward energy can be maintained, enthusiasm need not be lost.
A JB+A Integrated Campaign Planning Study also includes critical activities to leverage the awareness and momentum generated during the internal and external assessments:
- Recruiting campaign leadership (chairs/co-chairs)
- Organizing and launching the Campaign Steering Committee
- Appraising and prioritizing your top leadership gifts for the campaign (and that includes strategies for cultivation and solicitation)
- Soliciting the “Inner Family” (Board members, Campaign Steering Committee and staff)
The JB+A Integrated Campaign Planning Study: all the tried and true, best practices elements you need from a planning study, PLUS the critical first steps of a campaign. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.
Is the JB+A Integrated Campaign Planning Study right for your nonprofit? Give us a call (816-237-1999) or drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll help you decide.