Feasibility Study or Principal Gift

In capital campaign fundraising, a feasibility study can really set you up for success. It helps you to figure out who some of your key givers really are going to be and what kind of top gift you can really expect. However, you can figure out your fundraising capacity by taking a close look at your top donors. Do you have someone close to you from whom you believe you can get a $1 million gift? $3 million? This is going to be your top gift, and you can build a gift chart from there.

There is a strong value in raising a specific amount of money for a specific task, but if you do not have the donors to accomplish that project you will not be successful no matter how important the project is. If your organization only has one prospect who can stretch to give $1 million, you can probably raise around $5 or $6 million but will struggle a great deal to raise $10 million. Do not convince yourself that you can raise more money than the capacity of your donors.

If you have a need to raise more money than your organization has the capacity to raise, see what you can do to postpone that project or segment it into smaller pieces. Run a campaign for the first part of the campaign. Each campaign will grow your fundraising capacity. If you are successful in raising money for the first segment, then you will bring in new major gift donors and pull existing donors closer to the organization. It will be easier to go back to them in the future.


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