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Major appeals - do your homework first

Major Appeals

The secret of raising a large amount of money, whether it be a capital appeal or a major revenue campaign, lies in the preparation. Appeals that fail usually do so because someone did not do their homework or because the organisation decided to cut corners in its preparation.

The way to avoid appeal failure (and all the embarrassment and practical problems this causes, such as having to give money back to donors) is to carry out a funding feasibility study to identify in advance all the issues that will have to be addressed if an appeal is to succeed.


The main benefit of such a study is to reduce risk by answering a list of key questions, such as:

  • whether the case for support is strong enough
  • where the lead gifts will come from
  • whether the necessary voluntary leadership is available or not
  • where the funds are likely to come from
  • how long the appeal is likely to take
  • how the charity's day to day income will be protected
  • whether the charity's accounts will bear scrutiny or not
  • what internal capacity the charity will need to run the appeal

  • As well as testing the water before you launch the appeal, a feasibility study also gathers much useful information to inform the next stage of the process - the appeal strategy. So for example, how do you know what financial objectives to set for each income source? A well-conducted feasibility study will tell you this.

    Sometimes feasibility studies identify some tricky issues, but it is far better to address these before you launch your appeal than have to deal with the fallout later. It can also happen that a study will show a proposed appeal to be unviable. This is, of course, disappointing, but far better not to launch an appeal that is doomed to failure than suffer the consequences later.

    Further information

    Whether you are planning to raise £1 million or £20 million, investment in a feasibility study is a price worth paying to increase your chances of success. For more on funding feasibility studies click here or call us now on 01903 723519 for a free chat.

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