Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Four Steps Of A Feasibility Study

Cross-posted from our Squidoo page.

When you see the word "study," mostly negative thoughts come to mind. Studying for an exam means stress and little sleep. A government study means action will be postponed or prevented. In the nonprofit world, a feasibility study might be the best possible thing for an organization looking to start a project.

Feasibility studies aim to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of a proposal. These studies require the cooperation of all members of a nonprofit, including the board, CEO, and of any foundation being asked for financial support. The feasibility study consists of four steps, as outline on The NonProfit Times:

* Phase 1. Preparation: 30 days. Review all data, assemble names of potential interviewees, draft an invitation letter and schedule interviews. Remember to make reminder calls, finalize the list of questions and send thank-you letters.

* Phase 2. Interviews/Focus Groups: Five days. Conduct interviews and focus groups, outline the plan, keep development staff advised of the process. Strive for a minimum of 30 individuals, Identify prospective donors.

* Phase 3. Final Report Preparation: Two to three weeks. Review and organize all data, hold team evaluation and development of strategic conclusion, draft the report and submit the report.

* Phase 4. Report presentation: One day. Present report and assist with the next steps, questions and other support. The report should lead to a challenging and realistic goal.

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